On February 1st, 2013, the District Court for the District of Columbia modified its holding in Loving v. Internal Revenue Service to state that the IRS can continue to enforce the Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) system. Loving imposed a permanent injunction upon the IRS against enforcing the PTIN system, including competency testing and education requirements for tax return preparers. Under the PTIN system, most tax-return preparers are required to pass a competency test, pay an annual application fee, and annually complete fifteen hours of continuing education. The February 1 modification allows the IRS to continue to operate the PTIN program, but precludes the IRS from enforcing the continuing education and competency test requirements. However, tax preparers may voluntarily comply with the continuing education and testing requirements. The Order makes no mention of the annual application fee requirement, and an unrelated suit challenging the charging of user fees by the U.S. Treasury Department to issue and annually renew PTINs was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee on January 28th.
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