Tax-preparers need ID number by Jan. 1

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More than 17,000 Colorado tax-return preparers need to renew their preparer tax-identification number.

As of Jan. 1, the Internal Revenue Service will require the use of a tax-identification number on all federal returns prepared by paid tax-return preparers.

This week the IRS sent notices to  Colorado tax professionals to remind them to renew.

Tax professionals who don’t yet have an ID number – or received one before the new system launch on Sept. 28 – must register using the IRS Tax Professional Sign-Up System at

Registration takes about 15 to 20 minutes, and includes:
• Creating an account
• Completing an application
• Paying a $64.25 fee
• Getting a number (or being reassigned the same numbers )

The nine-digit ID number was created several years ago, so tax preparers wouldn’t have to use their Social Security number on tax returns. The requirement to use the PTIN is one of the main provisions in a new oversight program to help regulate the tax preparation industry.

The requirement applies to all tax-return preparers, including attorneys, enrolled agents and certified public accountants.