The National Society of Accountants is congratulating itself on scoring a win against the AICPA, convincing the IRS not to grant an exemption from its new preparer registration requirements for non-signing preparers at CPA firms.

The IRS launched its online registration system and issued the final regulations on Tuesday on the requirement for all tax preparers to register for a Preparer Tax Identification Number (see IRS Opens Online Tax Preparer Registration System).

The AICPA had asked the IRS to grant an exemption for non-signing preparers at CPA firms, but earlier this month the NSA sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the IRS arguing against the exemption (see NSA Opposes AICPA on Tax Preparer Exemptions).

“The IRS accepted our position that all paid tax return preparers should be treated the same: CPAs, lawyers, enrolled agents, unenrolled preparers – everyone,” said NSA executive vice president John Ams in a press release.

All tax preparers must pay a $64.25 fee when they register for a PTIN, the NSA noted. The rules will require all preparers to register, even preparers in other countries to whom a CPA firm or any other tax return preparation firm outsources the actual work.

In addition to rejecting the CPA firm exemption, the IRS accepted a number of NSA recommendations, including requiring those who prepare returns “for free” to obtain a PTIN if the return preparation is in conjunction with another commercial service such as an automobile test drive, a new hairdo, or some other activity.

“It is important to ensure accountability for all tax preparers to protect the public,” Ams added. “We fully support the PTIN registration program. The rules are designed to make sure all tax preparers are fully qualified and that any that make egregious mistakes on tax returns can be identified so the situation can be corrected.”