PTIN (Preparer Tax ID Number)

Latest PTIN news

Effective October 1, 2023 the IRS fee is $19.75 to obtain or renew a Preparer Tax ID Numbers (PTIN).  This fee consists of:

  • $11.00 user fee
  • $8.75 fee payable to a contractor (covers processing applications, renewals and operating a call center)

This is a decrease from $30.75 in 2022.

Renewing your PTIN

Who? Anyone who, for compensation, prepares all or substantially all of any federal tax return or claim for refund must obtain a PTIN issued by the IRS.

All Enrolled Agents must obtain a PTIN and renew it annually, separate from their EA license.

When? You normally renew your PTIN during the renewal period starting November 1st.  PTINs are renewed annually, and expire December 31st for the year of renewal.  If you allow your PTIN to expire, you can renew it at anytime.

How? Online at the IRS

Preparers do not need any CE to renew their PTIN.

Lifetime use? Taxpreparers keep the same PTIN for life, even if you let it lapse and renew it later.  Currently there are no late fees or penalties for late renewal.

What else? You are required to have a PTIN if you prepare returns for a fee, however the AFSP program is completely optional, although it does provide some benefits in client represenation and marketing.

Important deadline for AFSP Record of Completion

The IRS requires CE sponsors to offer the AFTR course in the second half of the year so that tax preparers receive updated training.

As a result, our AFSP Tax Packages are available on our site from June 1st to December 31st.

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All courses must be completed by December 31st

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AFSP Tax CE Packages

AFSP-Exempt Tax Package #5

AFSP-Non-exempt Tax Package #6

View AFSP Tax Packages

History of the PTIN

Who is affected by the PTIN system?

Enrolled Agents (EA) are required to maintain a current PTIN, and can use the system to check on the reporting of CPE courses completed.

Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) participants must also have a current PTIN, and can check on the reporting of CPE courses completed.

All Tax Preparers:  Anyone who prepares or assists in preparing federal tax returns for compensation must have a valid PTIN before preparing retuns.

CPE Providers approved by the IRS, such as FunCPE who report completed courses to the PTIN system.

History of PTIN fee

The Preparer Tax Identification Number was created by the IRS in 1999 to protect the privacy of tax return preparers. Prior to the availability of PTINs, tax preparers were required to sign the tax forms they prepared and provide their Social Security Numbers. Starting with the 2000 tax season, the IRS gave preparers the option of using either their SSNs or PTINs. Initially there was no charge to obtain a PTIN.  In 2010 the IRS began requiring the use of PTINs and began charging an annual fee to obtain or renew one.

Although originally there was no charge to obtain or renew a PTIN, the fee was as high as $64.25/$64 to obtain/renew a PTIN just prior to November 1, 2015.

As of November 1, 2015 the annual fee was reduced to $50 for both new and renewed numbers ($33 user fee + $17 fee third-party contractor fee to operate the online system and provide customer support).

For 2017 to 2019 there was no fee to renew a PTIN due to a district court determination that the IRS was not authorized to charge a fee for PTINs.

In 2021 the 2022 renewal fee was $35.95, then it was reduced in 2022 the 2023 renewal fee was $30.75.

Current PTIN Fee

Effective October 1, 2023 the PTIN renewal fee for 2024 was reduced to $19.75 ($11 user fee + $8.75 third-party contractor fee).

Lawsuit filed against the IRS in 2017 about PTIN fees


On June 1st, 2017 the IRS shut down the PTIN system in response to a recent court ruling. Why?

Federal district court ruled the IRS does not have the right to charge fees

The lawsuit related to this shutdown was brought by two CPAs in 2014, who sued the IRS over the PTIN fees on behalf of the over 700,000 tax preparers who paid PTIN fees annually at that time.  Estimates are as high as $245 million in fees charged since the initial 2010 regulations issued for registering tax preparers with PTINS (remember the RTRP program?).

The following statement was posted on the site:

“On June 1, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the Internal Revenue Service’s authority to require the use of a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), but enjoined the IRS from charging a user fee for the issuance and renewal of PTINs. As a result of this order, PTIN registration and renewal is currently suspended.

Subsequently, the PTIN system reopened and then eventually started charging fees again.

Will the IRS refund the past PTIN fees paid?

Maybe. A federal district court, however, ruled in Steele v. United States in early 2023 that the IRS charged excessive fees from 2011 to 2017 for tax preparers to apply for or renew their PTINs and ordered the IRS to refund any fees that exceeded the agency’s expenses.

Time will tell if any refunds will be issued, but at least the annual renewal fee has come down a bit.

FunCPE has been an IRS Approved CE Provider since 2001


Approved IRS CE provider for EA and AFSP

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