Since 2010, federal tax return preparers have been required to obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), which they include when signing a federal tax return. A fee has been charged, both to obtain an initial PTIN and to renew each year. A portion of the fee was slated to go towards funding the mandatory Registered Tax Return Preparer regulation regime. While this regime was killed by the courts, the annual fees remain.
An opinion yesterday was issued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that has struck down Treasury's ability to collect these fees, and to rebate the fees it has collected. It is likely that Treasury will appeal this, but barring success to Treasury, tax preparers can look forward to receiving their own special refund check from the IRS in the future.
Adam Steele v. U.S. (USDC for DC Circuit - Case No. 14-cv-1523-RCL