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RTRP News Articles

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Tax Preparers Defeat IRS in Appeals Court Ruling on Licensing Scheme

Morgan C. Flynn - February 17, 2014 12:34 pm

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the IRS had no legal authority to impose a nationwide licensing scheme on tax return preparers that would have required testing and continuing education as Registered Tax Return Preparers.

The decision affirms a January 2013 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge James E.  Boasber, which struck down the IRS's new regulations as unlawful.  In the case, Known as Loving v. IRS, both courts rejected the IRS's claim that tax-preparer licensure was authorized by an obscure 1884 statute governing the representatives of Civil War soldiers seeking compensation for dead horses.  

The appeals court held, "If we were to accept the IRS's interpretation of [the statue], the IRS would be empowered for the first time to regulate hundreds of thousands of individuals in the multi-billion dollar tax preparation industry.  Yet nothing in the statue's text or the legislative record contemplates that vast expanions of the IRS's authority."

More than 350,000 tax return preparers would have been subject to the regulations.  The attorneys for the preparers argued that the regulations would have put tens of thousands of mom-and-pop preparers out of business and increased the cost of tax-return preparation for millions of taxpayers.

When judge Boasberg clarified his original decision last year, he ruled that the IRS can continue to require tax preparers to register for Preparer Tax Identification Numbers, or PTINs, and the latest ruling should not affect that.

"The IRS is currently revieing the decision," the IRS said in a statement.  "The IRS continues to believe that it's critical for taxpayers to be able to rely on quality work from tax preparers."

Going forward, The IRS may continue to offer the RTRP designation on a voluntary basis or obtain authorization through congress.

You may view the ruling by clicking here.

John Koskinen Approved to Head IRS

Susan Patterson - December 16, 2013 2:18 pm

John Koskinen, age 74, was approved by the Senate Finance Committee on Friday to head the Internal Revenue Service.  The Senate confirmation hearing lasted only 2 days and was approved without objection to his nomination. 


Koskinen has built his reputation on turning around troubled enterprises.  He is a former chairman of Freddie Mac and a former city administrator of Washington D.C.  He certainly has a large task with restoring public trust in the IRS, implementation of the healthcare law, and its ordinary duties of enforcing tax laws, processing returns, and operating call centers.


 Koskinen will take over from acting-commissioner Danny Werfel at the end of this month.


2014 PTIN Renewals and New Applications Now Being Accepted

Susan Patterson - October 31, 2013 11:24 am

Effective today, the IRS is now accepting renewals and new applications for 2014 PTINs.  PTIN renewal usually begins October 15th, but the systems were delayed due to the government shutdown earlier this month.


Fees are the same as last year: $64.25 for new applications / $63 for renewals.


Click here to begin your application or renewal 

2014 Tax Season Delayed

Susan Patterson - October 23, 2013 8:43 am

The Internal Revenue Service has announced a one to two week delay to the start of the 2014 tax filing season to allow for additional time to program tax processing systems due to the 16 day federal government shutdown.  The original start date of the 2014 filing season was January 21, so with the delay, the IRS will begin accepting and processing returns between January 28 and February 4, 2014.  Acting IRS Comissioner Danny Werfel said that the IRS is exploring options to shorten the delay and will announce a final decision on the filing date in December.


The IRS said that the government closure came during the peak period for preparing IRS systems for the 2014 filing season, putting the IRS nearly three weeks behind its schedule.  Regardless of the delays in the opening of filing season, the April 15 deadline is set by statute and will remain in place.


PTIN Renewals Delayed

Susan Patterson - October 17, 2013 12:05 pm

Due to the lapse in government funding, the 2014 PTIN renewal season is delayed. An email or letter will be sent to all current PTIN holders from the IRS notifying you when the 2014 renewal season opens. The online PTIN system is still available for users to log in and view or change information or to secure a PTIN for 2013.


The NARTRP will notify our members when PTIN renewal season begins.  Please check back to the News section of our site regularly.