Hundreds of Prisoners Receive PTINs as IRS Corrects False Applications

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More than 300 prisoners have received preparer tax identification numbers, and 43 PTIN applicants who are serving life sentences received active or provisional PTINs, according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report. The information is contained in a TIGTA audit initiated because new rules have changed the way many preparers did business with IRS in fiscal 2011, including requirements that they sign up to become registered tax return preparers. None of the 43 with life sentences who received a PTIN disclosed on their application that they had a felony conviction, even though the application asks that question. Eleven of the 43 prisoners said they had a qualifying professional certification and received active PTINs; thirty-two received provisional PTINs.