The correct way to renew a PTIN, or preparer tax identification number, with the IRS is either online or through the mail. After October 16th each year, eligibility to renew a PTIN becomes available, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
Processing time for a paper renewal takes six to eight weeks, while the online process takes roughly 15 minutes, explains the Internal Revenue Service. When a person renews a PTIN online, he accesses the old account and clicks on the area marked PTIN Renewal, and then follows the instructions. After arriving at the end of the process, an option appears for fee payment. If there is not an option for fee payment, it signifies an error on the application for renewal. It is then necessary to fix all errors before continuing and making a payment.
If the person renewing the PTIN receives a duplicate Social Security number message, this indicates another file exists for the PTIN, explains the Internal Revenue Service. If the original PTIN registration occurred through the mail application process, the person needs a Secure Token to link the online account to the existing PTIN. The Secure Token appears on the letter mailed each fall by the IRS to remind people of the need to renew the PTIN.