The IRS has provided relief for tax return preparers who have pending PTIN applications but have not yet received a PTIN. The relief provided applies only during the 2011 filing season and does not apply to individuals who engage in conduct that constitutes a willful violation of the applicable duties and restrictions or disreputable conduct under Circular 230.
The IRS will permit any tax return preparer who received a notice that the IRS was unable to process their online PTIN application or an acknowledgment of receipt of Form W-12 to prepare and file tax returns or claims for refund for compensation after the tax return preparer complies with all instructions provided in the notification or acknowledgment letter. These individuals may use a PTIN issued before September 28, 2010, or their Social Security numbers, if they do not have previously issued PTINs, as the preparer tax identification number during the 2011 filing season or until they receive new PTINs.
Once a new PTIN is obtained, the new PTIN must be used. Tax return preparers who rely on this relief to prepare tax returns or claims for refund for compensation will be required to pay the $64.25 PTIN application fee for the 2011 filing season even though the processing of the application may be delayed. The payment must be submitted as instructed by the IRS. Tax return preparers who rely on the relief provided are required to keep a copy of the notification or acknowledgment letter as documentation of their good faith effort in the event that the preparer is contacted by the IRS during the 2011 filing season or in the future. (Notice 2011-11, I.R.B. 2011-7, January 24, 2011.)