EA PTIN account
PTIN is mandatory for all Enrolled Agents
Beginning in 2011, it became mandatory for Enrolled Agents to maintain a current Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).
It is necessary to have a current PTIN on your renewal Form 8554 in order to renew your EA status.
The PTIN is also necessary for CE providers to report your CE to the PTIN system.
As of July 2020, the IRS set the annual renewal fee at $35.95. Prior to this date, the PTIN was free for about three years.
CPE credits reported to PTIN system
In mid-2012, the IRS began requiring CPE Providers, such as FunCPE, to report all CPE credits earned by any student that provides a PTIN to the provider. Although our course system allows you to enter “none” in the PTIN field when registering for courses, it is most likely advantageous to have your CPE credit reported to the IRS.
If you enter “none” in the PTIN field and “EA” in the professional license field during registration, we ordinarily will contact you, asking you for a PTIN. We assume that an Enrolled Agent wants us to report their CE Courses to the IRS, but you can “opt out” by not providing your PTIN to us.
Viewing your CE credits on the IRS PTIN system
You can login to the IRS PTIN system to view your credit hours. The current year hours are displayed, and prior year hours are available using a drop down menu.
There is a potentially misleading message on the IRS PTIN website as follows:
* Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) courses are included in the Federal Tax Updates category. Note: AFTR course credits do not qualify for enrolled agent CE requirements.
What this message means is that if you took an Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course, those credits are shown in the Tax Update category. EAs cannot take the AFTR course for credit, as it is intended for non-credentialed tax preparers only. We do mark this clearly on our website and have not had any EAs accidentally take this course.
If you did take the AFTR course, it would be marked with an asterisk (*) to indicate the credits did not count.
The AFTR course is part of the program called the Annual Federal Tax Program (AFTP) the IRS initiated in 2014 to allow uncredentialed tax preparers to take CPE and be listed on the IRS website as a tax preparer with a “Record of Completion” of the AFTP.