If you're a tax professional and want to file taxes for clients, you're going to need a preparer tax identification number or a PTIN. This post walks you through what it is, how to apply for one and more.
The IRS requires any professional who prepares or assists in preparing federal tax returns for compensation to have a valid PTIN. Basically, you'll need one if you are paid to prepare federal tax returns, are an enrolled agent or intend to become an enrolled agent.
The IRS is very clear about the fact that you can't prepare tax returns for compensation if you don't obtain a PTIN. If you don't have one and prepare returns for money, you could be subject to penalties
Luckily, it's a relatively painless process to get one. In fact, the IRS says the process can take as little as 15 minutes.
You can get your PTIN in 4 steps:
If you don't want to apply online, you can apply for your PTIN via mail. Fill out Form W-12 and mail it to the IRS. You can expect this process to take 4-6 weeks.