IRS says Ala. tax preparers must register

BIRMINGHAM, AL — The Internal Revenue Service says it will contact more than 15,000 Alabama tax return preparers this week to remind them they must renew their Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) to qualify to prepare federal tax returns in 2011.

"Using a PTIN was optional for tax preparers, but now all paid preparers must apply or reapply for a PTIN before preparing federal tax returns in 2011," said IRS spokesman Dan Boone.

The new requirement to use the PTIN is one of the main provisions in a new IRS oversight program to help regulate the tax preparation industry. The requirement applies to all tax return preparers, including those who are enrolled agents, Certified Public Accountants or attorneys.

This week, the IRS is sending renewal reminder notices to 15,557 tax professionals in Alabama who currently have PTINs. Recipients are urged to avoid any last minute rush by renewing their PTIN online now.

Tax professionals who received their PTIN prior to the new system launch on Sept. 28, 2010, as well as those who do not currently have a PTIN, must register using the IRS Tax Professional Sign-Up System at

Registration generally takes 15-20 minutes and involves four simple steps:
· Create an account
· Complete the PTIN application
· Pay a $64.25 fee
· Get a PTIN (Current PTIN holders will generally be reassigned their same numbers. )
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