PTIN renewal season opens

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Preparer Tax Identification Number renewal season has begun, the IRS announced.

Anyone who charges for preparing or assisting in the preparation of federal tax returns must have a valid 2018 PTIN beforehand. All Enrolled Agents must also have a valid PTIN. All PTINs expire on Dec. 31 and must be renewed for the 2018 filing season.

There is no fee for a 2018 PTIN. Applying for or renewing a PTIN takes about 15 minutes online, according to the IRS. Paper applications, Form W-12, take four to six weeks to process.

The IRS temporarily closed the PTIN system earlier this year after losing a lawsuit over registration and renewal fees, but re-opened it a few weeks later with a format that allows preparers to register or renew their PTIN without paying for it.

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