August 24, 1999
IRS to Issue Alternative
Identification Numbers for Tax Preparers
WASHINGTON - A new Internal Revenue Service form will
allow paid tax preparers to request an alternative identification number for use on the
returns and refund claims they prepare after 1999.
The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 authorized the use of alternatives to
Social Security Numbers (SSNs) to identify tax return preparers. The change responds to
concerns that a preparers SSN could be used inappropriately by clientele and others
having access to a prepared return.
Preparers may download Form W-7P, Application for Preparer Tax Identification
Number, from the Tax Professionals Corner on the IRS web site at www.irs.ustreas.gov or call the IRSs toll-free
tax forms line
1-800-829-3676. To ensure that the person assigned to and identified by a specific
Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) is the person applying for it, the application
form asks for the preparers name, home address, date of birth and SSN.
The PTIN is solely the identifying number of the individual requesting it and has no
relation to firms employing tax return preparers.
The IRS expects to begin issuing the PTINs by mail beginning in early October.
Applications received by November 1999 should receive PTINs by the start of the 2000
filing season. Return preparers may continue to use their PTINs year after year without
re-applying. Preparers must use either their Social Security number or a PTIN. They cannot
write PTIN applied for in the Paid Preparers Use Only section of the
return. Preparers are advised to consult with their respective states regarding the use of
a PTIN on state tax returns.
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