A recent court ruling has stopped the IRS from enforcing the registered tax return preparer registration requirement. They are working with the Department of Justice and continue to have confidence they will soon have the authority to administer the RTRP program.
While the judge denied the IRS's request on Friday, February 1, he did clarify that the injunction does not apply to the IRS's requirement that all tax preparers obtain an identification number (PTIN). It is recommended that preparers who have already been assigned a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) continue to use it to protect their identity. Those who have not yet applied for a PTIN will not be able to do so at this time, but again, the IRS hopes to have these issues resolved soon.
In addition, he clarified the ruling doesn't prohibit voluntary compliance with the RTRP requirements. This means preparers can still choose to comply with the testing and education requirements, and obtain the RTRP certification. The IRS has now re-opened its PTIN management and registration site.
It is expected that the IRS will continue working with the Department of Justice to determine other possible courses of action.