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Step by Step PTIN Update Instructions


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Updating your PTIN should be easy but it isn't always. There are lots of questions, and the wording isn't always as clear as it could be. Follow the Step by Step instructions below and you should be on the right track. These are just general instructions, and meant for those who only prepare and e-file Form 2290. If you prepare any other federal tax forms, these may not be the best instructions for you.

The Steps in a Nut Shell

Paid Preparers of Form 2290 are Required to get an IRS PTIN

Call the IRS directly with your questions:

Primary Toll-Free: 877-613-PTIN (7846)
TTY: 877-613-3686
Toll Number for International Callers: +1 915-342-5655
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (CST)

A Quick Note Before We Start

The IRS understands that Trucking is different from other industries, and while they do still require a PTIN, they have made their requirements as easy as possible. You can check out the IRS FAQ's for yourself any time, but currently the IRS PTIN Requirement for anyone who prepares and e-files Form 2290 is as follows.

IRS.gov, Frequently Asked Questions: Do I Need a PTIN? Section b. PTIN Scenarios Question 11. Our company prepares Forms 2290 for our clients. It is the only federal tax form we prepare. Are our employees subject to any of the new regulations? (revised 2/7/13)

"Yes, any individual who receives compensation for preparing Forms 2290 is required to register with the IRS and obtain a PTIN."

Roughly Translated: If the only Federal Tax Form you prepare is Form 2290, then you are required to get a PTIN. Renew annually and then get about the rest of your life! My step by step instructions below are designed for people who fit into this specific IRS Scenerio. If you prepare other Federal tax forms, my instructions may not be right for you. It's always important to read IRS instructions very carefully and answer the question to the best of your understanding.

IRS PTIN Login Page

Step 1 - Go to the IRS website and Login

Start at IRS.gov. Click on "Tax Pros"

IRS Main Menu

Then click on the "PTIN Open Season" link and it will take you to the PTIN login page where you can enter your User ID and Password.

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IRS PTIN Forgotten Password

Step 2 - Forgotten Password

If you have forgotten your user name and/or password (like I do every year!) Then use the "Forgot User ID" and "Forgot Password" links. They will email all of your information to you. The email comes from TaxPro_PTIN@irs.gov but IRS Computers are slow so give your email 5-10 minutes to show up.

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Menu Options - Renew your IRS PTIN

Step 3 - Renew Your PTIN

Once logged in, you�ll have some options. I chose to renew my PTIN because I didn�t need to do any of the other things, but there are lots of options on this page. Be sure that you explore this account when you have some free time.

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IRS PTIN Gather your Information

Step 4 - Gather Your Information

Make sure you have all the items to the left so that you�re ready to go!! Once you start your application, you will be timed, so it's important to have everything ready! As you can see, it's mostly easy stuff that you probably already have at the tip of your tongue. When you're ready, click "Next" to start your application.

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IRS PTIN Review your Personal Informaion

Step 5 - Personal Information Review

The beginning of the application will show you your personal information (like your name and email address) for your review. Make sure it's correct, and make any necessary corrections. Then click Next to save and continue.

Next it will ask for your contact information (like your address and phone number) for review. Again, make sure it's correct and click Next to save and continue.

Finally, it will review your business information. Make any necessary updates or corrections and click next.

So far, that's really easy. Nothing tricksy or unusual about verifying your personal and business name and address right? The next steps are just as easy - don't let the IRS jargon convince you otherwise.

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IRS PTIN Professional Credentials

Step 6 - Professional Credentials

Ask yourself a YES/NO question. Do you have a professional credential?? I don't, so I just said NEXT. You don't need any professional credentials as a Paid Preparer of Form 2290, so you don't have to add any. If you also prepare other Federal tax forms, you may have credentials, and it's not a bad idea to add them. Just remember that it's not required and you can renew your PTIN even without any professional credentials.

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IRS PTIN Supervised Preparers

Step 7 - Supervised Preparer

Answer each question to the left with the correct answer for you. For me, it was all NO's! Again, as a paid preparer of Form 2290, you aren't required to be supervised. The IRS understands that our industry is special, and they are not making us jump through too many crazy hoops. You can renew your PTIN even if you aren't a supervised preparer.

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IRS PTIN Tax Compliance

Step 8 - Tax Compliance

Now, the IRS is asking about YOUR income tax. Are you up to date with your income tax filing? For me, the answer was YES, I am up to date, so I said YES, and clicked NEXT to be on my way. However, if the correct answer for you is no, the IRS wants an explanation. Give it to them, and click NEXT.

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IRS PTIN 1040 Filer Question

Step 9 - 1040 Filer

This one is SUPER important. Do you Preparer Form 1040 - aka Income Tax? Read the question carefully and answer it correctly for your business.

If you're like me, and you don't prepare Form 1040 then answering NO to this question is how you get exempt from education and testing. However, if you DO prepare Income Tax then you need to answer yes. Again, it's OK to say no to this question. You can still renew your PTIN when you answer NO to the 1040 Question.

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IRS PTIN has a Felony Question

Step 10 - Felony Question

This one is easy

The simple question, "Have you been conficted of a felony in the last 10 years?" has a simple answer. Say NO if you haven't and say YES with an explanation if you have.

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Step 11 - Review and Sign your Application

You're almost done!! Take a Moment and pat yourself on the back - you have earned it!!

It's time to review your IRS PTIN application. You'll go through several screens here, but it's easy! Just double check for typos, and new information. There are little edit buttons in each section you can click if you need to make any changes. The IRS is asking in the picture to the left to state under penalty of perjury that you did your best and that everything is correct to the best of your knowledge. It will take a few moments for the IRS Computers to process your application so be patient and click the Submit button only once.

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IRS PTIN Annual Fee

Step 12 - Pay the Annual Fee

The IRS does charge an annual fee for the PTIN. It has flucutated the last few years, but has been consistantly under $65.00

This year the fee was an even $63.00. There are several steps in the payment process. I recommend opting to pay now, so you don't forget later, and choosing whatever payment method works for you. Don't give up until you get a receipt. This part took me the longest to complete, so be patient and be sure you print the receipt. Even after you print your transaction receipt, you not quite finished. Hang in there- you're getting closer!

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IRS PTIN Application Finished

Step 13 - Check Your Email for Confirmation

You're not done until the IRS says - "Congratulations! You're PTIN and it's expiration date are shown below" - and that date is more then a year from now! You should also get an email confirmation. Remember, these last few steps may take time as the IRS computers are trying to renew hundreds of thousands of PTINS at this time of year. Print your IRS PTIN Confirmation for your records and print your email for your records.

Be Careful - you may have more to do!

The IRS may tell you that you have more to do - so just follow the instructions carefuly, and call the IRS PTIN Hotline at 877-613-7846 if you need any help.

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