Tax Preparer Registration 

    In 2010, the IRS began rolling out their PTIN regulation and tax preparer oversight program.  The program was based on Publication 4832, Return Preparer Review Report.  Since that time, over 700,000 preparers have applied for a PTIN under the new program, including approximately 212,000 CPAs, almost 42,000 Enrolled Agents, and 31,000 attorneys. The remainder, nearly 430,000 PTIN holders, unregulated preparers with provisional PTINs who needed to meet testing and continuing education requirements before earning the designation of Registered Tax Return Preparer.

    We developed this page to help keep our members informed of key developments in the PTIN regulation program, as well as provide more background on the program along with recent development and useful articles and links.

     Latest Developments

    October 17, 2013
    The IRS announced that due to the government shutdown, the 2014 PTIN renewal season will be delayed.  Current PTIN holders will be notified, through email or letter, as to when the 2014 renewal season will open.  The online PTIN system is still available to secure a PTIN for 2013 or to update information for current users.

    February 2, 2013
    The IRS posts the following on their Facebook page in response to additional clarification from the District Court on their Jan 18 ruling:

    "Attention Tax Pros:  The recent Loving v. IRS court ruling does not affect the requirement for paid tax return preparers to have and use a PTIN. As such, the PTIN system is now reopened for processing renewals and new applications."

    February 1, 2013
    The AICPA sent a letter to Steven T. Miller, Acting Commissioner, urging the IRS to resolve the issues with the PTIN application system since the Loving decision "...does not affect the Circular 230 regulatory requirements for CPAs, or the statutory requirement that a paid tax return preparer affix a PTIN to the returns prepared by that individual."  The temporary shut-down of the system has "left a number of our members unable to comply with the [PTIN] requirement."  We also expressed concern for the additional burden on our members resulting from the delay in the availability of forms.

    January 23, 2013
    The U.S. Justice Department filed a motion with the District Court seeking suspension of the injunction against preparer regulation, pending resolution of the appeal the government intends to file within 30 days.

    January 19, 2013
    IRS issued a public statement announcing suspension of: (1) the preparer tax identification number (PTIN) registration/renewal process for all tax return preparers; (2) the registered tax return preparer competency examination; and (3) continuing education requirements. This IRS statement reiterated that all regulatory practice requirements for CPAs, attorneys, enrolled agents, enrolled retirement plan agents, and enrolled actuaries remain in effect.

    January 18, 2013
    The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, in Loving v. IRS, issued an injunction against IRS enforcement of its preparer regulation program.

    Related Resources    

    Because the District Court’s injunction was effective immediately, the IRS closed down the PTIN registration system. The unavailability of the PTIN system creates an administrative challenge for CPAs who may still need to renew their PTIN or obtain one for the first time – actions still required by the Internal Revenue Code.

    • Tax Season 2013: Question and Answers - offering answers to many of the questions related to delays in filing season due to the last minute tax-law changes and uncertainties regarding the PTIN program.
    • IRS' for Tax Pros page - for the latest information on the PTIN program from IRS.
    • Journal of Accountancy news page - for the latest news and headlines on accounting and tax issues, including PTIN developments

    News and Background Information

    For more information, visit our History and Background of PTIN Regulations page.


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