The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the right of the Treasury Department and the IRS to charge an annual fee for a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).
The case involved Jesse Brannen III, a tax attorney and CPA from Georgia, who sued the Treasury Department, claiming that it exceeded its statutory authority when it began charging a $64.25 fees for issuing a PTIN and an annual renewal fee of $63. (Jesse E. Brannen, III, P.C., No. 11-14138 (11th Cir. 6/7/12), aff’g No. 4:11-cv-00135-HLM (N.D. Ga. 8/26/11)).
The court ruled that the fee is valid because the PTIN confers a special benefit on the preparers: the privilege to prepare tax returns for others for compensation.
“This is not about the money,” said Brannen in a story from Accounting Today. “This is about principles. This is about trying to get the IRS to only pass regulations and enforce rules that have been approved by Congress. They’ve done such an end run around the statute that we felt like we had to file suit.”
Brannen’s Atlanta-based attorney, Allen Buckley, said he and his client hope to appeal the case, either to the full appeals court or perhaps all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.