Today, the IRS re-opened the PTIN System and is again issuing PTINs. Since the IRS is enjoined from charging a fee, it will issue the PTINs at no cost to the preparer.
If you currently have a PTIN, you can now log into your account to make changes and view CPE information as normal.
At this time, the IRS has no additional comments on whether it will appeal the recent ruling. Until that decision is made, expect no updates regarding the potential for PTIN fee refunds.
When more information is learned, it will be posted at irs.gov/taxpros.
In 2010, the IRS attempted to regulate both credentialed and uncredentialled tax return preparers by promulgating regulations that established a new registered tax return preparer (RTRP) designation. The regulations required individuals other than enrolled agents, attorneys and CPAs to pass a one-time competency exam, pass a suitability check, and obtain and pay for a PTIN. The regulations also required continuing education and the annual renewal of the PTIN for all paid preparers.
In 2014, the D.C. Circuit addressed the regulations regarding the exam and education requirements, asking whether the IRS possessed the statutory authority to regulate tax preparers [Loving v. IRS., 742 F.3d 1013, 1015(D.C. Cir. 2014)]. The Court ruled that the IRS did not have that authority. After Loving, the only part of the regulations that remained was the PTIN requirement. Soon after, a group of preparers filed suit alleging the IRS did not have the authority to require a PTIN, much less charge a fee for obtaining it. As communicated in the November 22, 2016, TAXPRO Weekly, the Court allowed the current class action lawsuit.
The IRS announced the suspension of PTIN registration and renewal as a result of a court ruling on June 1, 2017, where the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment in part, ruling that the IRS may continue to require PTINs, but may not charge fees for the issuance or renewal of PTINs.
Other sources have also reported on the same big news —
Fascinating ruling, and only time will tell where this all will end up.