Be careful how you fill out your PTIN renewal – some of the info is released to the public

Be attentive as you complete your PTIN renewal.  Your name, address and certain other info is subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

The AICPA has an article on the issue – Managing public PTIN information.

From the article:

The IRS makes the database of the publicly releasable PTIN information of more than 700,000 registered preparers available to anyone who requests it and pays a $35 fee. The information subject to release consists of the preparer’s name, business name, business mailing address, business phone number, business website address, email address, and professional credentials.

Consider this when initially registering:

The PTIN registration form now clarifies that what it formerly called a “permanent mailing address” is a registrant’s personal address exempt from public release, and it is now designated as a “personal mailing address.” For the business address field, PTIN holders may now list a post office box. Also, registrants concerned about opening up their email inbox to “spam” by public dissemination of their email address may enter any valid email address as long as they regularly check it for PTIN communications. PTIN holders who want to change or update their contact information at any time for these or other reasons can now do so online or in writing.

I just renewed online. There is one screen that contains a caution that specific data on that screen is releasable.

You can check your information at the PTIN site. Choose the “manage my PTIN account” pulldown and select “update my PTIN account information”.

After I renewed, I changed my contact email to an additional address I use. That should reduce the exposure issue. Will also
allow me to track who got my address by buying the list.

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