CPA practitioners sue to stop PTIN fees
Two CPAs have filed suit in the U.S. district court for the District of Columbia, asking the court to stop the IRS from charging fees for issuing preparer tax identification numbers (PTINs), to obtain refunds of fees paid in the past, and to enjoin the IRS from asking for more information than needed to issue preparer tax identification numbers (PTINs) (Steele, No. 1:cv-14-1523 (D.D.C.) (complaint filed). The plaintiffs are asking for class certification for all return preparers who are required to pay the user fee, which they estimate ranges from 700,000 to 1.2 million people.
The plaintiffs claim that the IRS is not authorized to charge a user fee at all because, under 31 U.S.C. §9701, user fees may only be imposed to provide a special benefit. If the IRS is permitted to charge a fee, the plaintiffs argue, it should be limited to the amount it costs the IRS to provide the PTIN—the $14.25 it pays to a third party to provide the number or the $13 it pays for the third party to renew the number, rather than the $64.25 the IRS currently charges for a new PTIN and the $63 it charges for renewals. Read more on the Journal of Accountancy.