There seems to be a lot of practitioner questions about who needs to get a PTIN. CPE Link recently hosted a webcast on PTIN Regulations. Here are some of the questions that speaker Charles Sparano answered on that subject:

Q. If you are a private corporation preparing your own payroll tax return, do you have to get a PTIN?
A. At this time I don’t think that applies.

Q. I have a staff person that is behind on filing their own taxes. Can they get a PTIN?
A. They need to be current on their own taxes to obtain a PTIN.

Q. Does the PTIN requirement apply to individuals who only prepare payroll or other non-1040 series returns?
A. Yes.

Q. Does the firm itself need a PTIN or can the EIN still be used?
A. The EIN is what the firm uses, PTIN is for individuals.

Q. If you only make the phone call and don’t prepare the workpapers, are you required to have a PTIN?
A. If only asking clarifying questions and not preparing, it’s okay not to have a PTIN.

Q. If you only input the numbers into the tax return are you required to get a PTIN?
A. No, administrative workers do not need a PTIN.

Q. What about staff that only copy W2 (workpaper) and keys into tax software – required to get PTIN?
A. No if they only offer clerical assistance.

Q. What does an employee do with the PTIN if they never sign a return?
A. They may need it later to sign tax returns in the future.