IRS Begins Issuing PTINs Without Charge, But Reserves Right to Charge Later

The IRS has begun again issuing PTINs after suspending such issuance immediately losing the ability to charge fees for PTINs in the case of Steele, et al v. United States, (US DC District of Columbia).  The announcement, along with a series of Q&As on the issue, was posted to the IRS website (“IRS Reopening Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) System”).

The IRS is not charging for a PTIN issuance at this time, but the Q&As reserve the possibility that those receiving a “free” PTIN at this time might be required to pay for it later.

The Q&As are reproduced below:

Q: Are federal tax return preparers still required to have a PTIN?

A: Yes. The court decision upheld the IRS’ authority to require the use of a PTIN. Anyone who prepares, or assists in preparing, all or substantially all of a federal tax return for compensation is required to have a PTIN. All enrolled agents must also have a valid PTIN.

Q: Will PTIN holders be receiving refunds for previous fees paid?

A: The IRS, working with the Department of Justice, is considering how to proceed. As additional information becomes available, it will be posted on our Tax Pros page.

Q: If I obtain or renew my PTIN now at no cost, will I have to pay for it later?

A: We can make no determinations with respect to future activity at this time.

Q: Is the PTIN Helpline reopening?

A: Yes. It will also reopen on June 21, 2017.

Q: Is a PTIN still required to file a tax return, to be an Enrolled Agent or schedule an appointment for the Special Enrollment Examination

A: Yes.

Q: Will I be able to view my continuing education records when the PTIN system reopens?

A: Yes. All previous information will still be displayed in online PTIN accounts.

Q: Do I need to contact the IRS or file a claim for refund for previously paid PTIN fees?

A: Do not contact the IRS. Any questions regarding claims or refunds should be directed to the PTIN Fees Class Action Administrator at