While all Preparer Tax Identification Numbers from last tax season expired on December 31, the Internal Revenue Service said its PTIN system would continue to accept renewals after the deadline.

The IRS said in an email to tax professionals on Friday that anyone who has experienced technical difficulties attempting to renew should review these online troubleshooting tips. In January, the IRS plans to send additional guidance to individuals with expired PTINs.

Separately, beginning January 3, hours of service for most IRS toll-free telephone lines will be 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time. This includes telephone assistance for individuals, businesses, and the Practitioner Priority Service. Hours of service for telephone assistance for exempt organizations, retirement plan administrators and government entities are not changing.

The first day that the IRS will begin accepting electronically filed returns is January 17.  Starting Jan. 1, 2012, tax professionals must use IRS e-file if their firm files more than 10 individual or trust returns.

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