Final Reminder for PTIN Renewal With the launch of filing season, the IRS Return Preparer Office has sent PTIN expiration letters to those return preparers who have not yet renewed their PTINs. Following is a copy of the letter: Dear Tax Professional, As of January 27, 2020, our records indicate that you have not renewed your IRS preparer tax identification number (PTIN) for 2020. Your PTIN expired on December 31, 2019. If you renewed your PTIN after January 27, 2020 or recently sent a paper renewal, you may disregard this letter. If you do not renew your PTIN, you can no longer prepare federal tax returns for compensation. If you intend to renew your PTIN for 2020, you can renew online or submit a paper application. Online Renewal You can renew online at www.irs.gov/ptin. Paper Renewal If you prefer, you can renew by paper using Form W-12, available at www.irs.gov, and checking the “renewal” box. It will take 4-6 weeks to process. You should not prepare returns until you receive notification that your PTIN renewal is complete. We monitor expired PTINs. If you continue to prepare returns, you may be subject to penalties or other actions imposed by the Internal Revenue Service. If you … Read More
PTIN Message for Tax Professionals Tax professionals specializing in estate and trust returns must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) and renew it annually. The PTIN is required of paidprofessionals who prepare or assist in preparing certain federal tax returns, which includes Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts. Failing to enter a PTIN or entering an expired or suspended PTIN can result in a $50 penalty per return and could cause processing delays for clients. The IRS has urged the estate and trust community, especially financial institutions offering services to clients, to ensure that staff who prepare or assist in preparing Forms 1041 have PTINs. PTINs cannot be shared among staff. Each paid professional must have his or her own PTIN. Obtaining or renewing a PTIN takes only a few minutes and can be done online. Preparers can obtain a PTIN for 2019 now and renew that PTIN between October and December for 2020. Visit www.irs.gov/ptin to start.
Dear Tax Professional, Increasingly, there has been a lot of discussion and messaging around the importance of data and information security. It’s because tax professionals are the prime targets for identity thieves and data breaches continue to affect tax professionals at an alarming rate. Cybercriminals use sophisticated and ever evolving techniques to gain access to your systems. These criminals steal sensitive taxpayer data, file fraudulent tax returns and create financial havoc for you and your clients. Data security is a necessity for every tax professional; protecting taxpayer data is your legal responsibility. While there are many steps you can take to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of cybercriminals, creating and maintaining a data security plan tops the list. The Federal Trade Commission requires all financial institutions (yes, tax return preparers are included in the definition of financial institutions) to have a data security plan. Your plan should be designed to protect all the sensitive taxpayer data entrusted to you as a tax professional. A data security plan is an essential step in protecting your business against data loss and tax related identity theft. A security plan does not guarantee that your business will not be targeted, but it … Read More
Tax professionals, as well as taxpayers, who call the IRS will be asked to verify their identity. Being ready to verify identity before a call or visit can save taxpayers and tax professionals time by avoiding having to make multiple calls. Before calling, taxpayers and tax professionals should instead consider using IRS.gov to access resources like the IRS Service Guide to get faster answers to their tax questions. If a taxpayer decides to call, they should know that IRS phone assistors take great care to only discuss personal information with the taxpayer or someone the taxpayer authorizes to speak on their behalf. To make sure that taxpayers do not have to call back, the IRS reminds taxpayers to have the following information ready: Social Security numbers (SSN) and birth dates for those who were named on the tax return An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) letter if the taxpayer has one in lieu of a SSN Filing status – single, head of household, married filing joint or married filing separate The prior-year tax return. Telephone assistors may need to verify taxpayer identity with information from the return before answering certain questions A copy of the tax return in question Any … Read More