IRS Provides Resources and Reminders for Tax Preparers

October 21, 2020

The IRS recently released several new resources and reminders for tax return preparers for the upcoming tax filing season.

PTIN Renewal

The IRS reminds tax preparers that current Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTIN) numbers will expire Dec. 31, 2020 and recommends renewing as early as possible. Anyone who prepares or helps prepare a federal tax return for compensation must have a valid PTIN from the IRS before preparing returns, and they need to include the PTIN as the identifying number on any return filed with the IRS. Tax preparers must pay a nonrefundable fee of $35.95 to renew or obtain a PTIN for 2021.

A tax return preparer can renew online by logging into their PTIN account or by submitting a paper Form W-12 with the "Renewal" box checked. However, the paper form can take four to six weeks to process. Failure to have and use a valid PTIN may result in penalties.

First time PTIN applicants can also apply for a PTIN online.

Temporary Procedures to Fax Certain Forms

The IRS recently added an additional FAQ on the timing for ending the temporary procedures put into place to allow the faxing of Forms 1139 and Form 1045 due to COVID-19.

FAQ #21 states that the last day to fax an eligible refund claim under the temporary procedures is Dec. 31, 2020. The fax numbers will no longer be operational as of midnight on Dec. 31, 2020. The end of the faxing process is independent of any filing due dates. Additionally, if you file one application for a tentative refund and claim both the NOL carryback and the minimum tax credit at the same time, you must file the application by the earliest applicable deadline.

To read the full FAQ, visit the IRS website.

New IRS Online Publication

The IRS recently unveiled a new online publication called “A Closer Look” to provide more detailed information on major issues facing the IRS and tax administration. “A Closer Look” will be published frequently and will include articles from a variety of IRS leaders on everything from IRS operations and employees to issues involving taxpayers and tax professionals.

The first post features IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig discussing Economic Impact Payments and how to share information to reach people who don’t normally file a tax return before the newly extended Nov. 21 deadline.