Updated for tax year 2020 (returns due April 15, 2021)
Below are the IRS requirements for all tax return preparers
If you don't have one, obtain an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN). You must e-file if you file 11 or more individual federal returns per calendar year, and you must have an IRS-issued EFIN in order to e-file. (An EFIN designates you as an authorized e-file provider.) To apply for an EFIN, use the IRS' e-Services - Online Tools for Tax Professionals. It can take up to 45 days to receive your EFIN, so apply early!
Verify your EFIN information with TaxAct Professional. In order to help prevent identity theft, protect your and your clients' data, and comply with IRS requirements, we must verify EFIN credentials for all of our professional customers. Having your EFIN verified prior to the start of tax season will help avoid disruption to your e-filing services.
In order to protect information, we must verify EFIN credentials for all of our professional customers. Please submit a copy of your IRS e-file application summary that includes your tracking number to TaxAct Professional for verification. This one-time verification process must be completed for each EFIN used in your office(s).
Generally, professionals who have been verified in a previous year will not need to be re-verified; however, it is possible TaxAct may request that you re-verified in order to e-file. You can check your EFIN verification status in your TaxAct Account starting in late December. If your EFIN is rejected for any reason, we will notify you via email.
Sign in to your TaxAct Account and click the "Practice Administration" tile.
Click on "EFIN Verification" to expand and follow the instructions.
Apply for or renew your preparer tax identification number (PTIN) annually. If you prepare or assist in preparing federal returns for compensation, or you are an Enrolled Agent, you must apply for or renew your PTIN each year by December 31. The application and renewal period will begin early November and the renewal fee is $50. The fastest way to renew is using the IRS' online registration system, as receipt of your PTIN is immediate upon successful registration or renewal. If you mail Form W-12, response time is 4-6 weeks.
Verify your PTIN. For the 2020 tax year, all tax preparers will be required to verify their PTIN is accurate and they are the responsible owner prior to filing returns (print or e-file). Within your TaxAct 2020 Professional software, you can verify the PTIN on the Preparer Master Information screen by checking the box below your PTIN. If you edit your PTIN at any time, you will be required to re-check the box to verify
Continuing education is no longer a mandatory requirement.