or retired. Retired or expired credentials are those that are
Privacy Act and Paperwork Reduction Act Notice. We
not valid or active at the time of the application. Include the
ask for the information on this form to carry out the Internal
licensing number, jurisdiction, and expiration date. If the
Revenue laws of the United States. This information will be
expiration date is left blank or incomplete, that specific
used to issue a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).
credential will not be added during the processing of your
Our authority to collect this information is found in section
application. Select only from the professional credentials
3710 of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and
listed below. There is no write-in option. If you do not have
Reform Act of 1998 and Internal Revenue Code section
any professional credentials, check the “None” box.
6109. Under section 6109, tax return preparers are required
Recognized professional credentials include the
to provide their identification numbers on what they prepare.
Applying for a PTIN is mandatory if you prepare U.S. tax
Attorney. An attorney is any individual who is licensed to
returns for compensation. Providing incomplete information
practice law by the bar of the highest court of any state,
may delay or prevent processing of this application; providing
territory, or possession of the United States, including a
false or fraudulent information may subject you to penalties.
commonwealth, or the District of Columbia.
You are not required to provide the information requested
Certified Public Accountant (CPA). A CPA is any
on a form that is subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act
individual who is duly qualified to practice as a CPA in any
unless the form displays a valid OMB control number. Books
state, territory, or possession of the United States, including
or records relating to a form or its instructions must be
a commonwealth, or the District of Columbia.
retained as long as their contents may become material in
Enrolled Agent (EA). An EA is any individual enrolled as
the administration of any Internal Revenue law. Generally,
an agent who is not currently under suspension or
the information you provide on this form is confidential
disbarment from practice before the IRS. EAs are licensed by
pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974, and tax returns and
return information are confidential pursuant to Code section
Enrolled Actuary. An enrolled actuary is any individual
6103. However, we are authorized to disclose this
who is enrolled as an actuary by the Joint Board for the
information to contractors to perform the contract, to the
Enrollment of Actuaries.
Department of Justice for civil and criminal litigation, and to
Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent (ERPA). An ERPA is
cities, states, the District of Columbia, and U.S.
any individual enrolled as a retirement plan agent who is not
commonwealths and possessions for use in their return
currently under suspension or disbarment from practice
preparer oversight activities and administration of their tax
before the IRS.
laws. We may also disclose this information to other
State Regulated Tax Return Preparer. A state regulated
countries under a tax treaty, to federal and state agencies to
tax return preparer is any individual who remains current with
enforce federal nontax criminal laws, to federal law
certain state-based tax return preparer programs. Tax return
enforcement and intelligence agencies to combat terrorism,
preparers who are registered with the following will fall into
or to the general public to assist them in identifying those
individuals authorized by the IRS to prepare tax returns or
Oregon Board of Tax Practitioners.
claims for refund.
California Tax Education Council.
The time needed to complete and file this form will vary
Maryland State Board of Individual Tax Preparers.
depending on individual circumstances. The estimated
Note. The above list of participating state programs is
burden for those who file this form is shown below.
subject to change. For the most up-to-date information on
participating states, visit IRS.gov/PTIN.
Certifying Acceptance Agent (CAA). A CAA is an
individual or entity (college, financial institution, accounting
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Learning about the law or the form
firm, etc.) that has entered into a formal agreement with the
. . . .
Preparing and sending the form. . . .
IRS that permits them to assist alien individuals and other
foreign individuals with obtaining Individual Taxpayer
If you have comments concerning the accuracy of these
Identification Numbers. A CAA cannot verify documents in
time estimates or suggestions for making this form simpler,
order for individuals to obtain a PTIN. CAAs should enter
we would be happy to hear from you. You can send us
either their EFIN or the eight-digit office code assigned to
comments from IRS.gov/FormComments. Or you can send
them via the CAA application process.
your comments to the Internal Revenue Service, Tax Forms
and Publications Division, 1111 Constitution Ave. NW,
Note. Once you complete the requirements to participate in
IR-6526, Washington, DC 20224. Do not send Form W-12 to
the Annual Filing Season Program, the IRS will add this to
this address. Instead, see Where To File, earlier.
your PTIN account. See more information about the program
listed under Reminders, earlier.
Signature. The completed Form W-12 must be signed and
dated by the applicant. Please use black or blue ink.
Instructions for Form W-12 (06-2017)