According to Law360 a certified class of more than a million tax preparers ranging from accountants to attorneys urged a D.C. federal judge Wednesday to block the Internal Revenue Service from charging a fee for issuing a preparer tax identification number, arguing the fee is unlawful.
The class members said in a summary judgment motion that, under D.C. Circuit precedent, the IRS can’t regulate tax-return preparers. The fee has existed since 2010 but was lowered from $50 to $33 in a temporary rule-making last year amid concerns it was too high. On Aug. 10, the IRS issued a final rule setting the fee at $33.
“The requirements that tax-return preparers obtain and pay for a [preparer tax identification number] were based entirely on the IRS’s unauthorized attempt to regulate preparers more broadly, making the fee arbitrary and capricious,” the motion said. “Even if the fee were not arbitrary or capricious, it is unlawful … because Congress did not grant the IRS any licensing authority over tax-return preparers.”
The fee, which is charged for application and a renewal every year, caught the ire of many return preparers, who argue it is unnecessary since the PTIN doesn't change and is as unique as a Social Security number, according to court documents. Their Wednesday motion said the IRS had no authority to implement the PTIN requirement.
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