PTIN System Accessibility Guide


About this Guide

The PTIN system has implemented numerous accessibility features in compliance with federal regulations. This guide is intended to assist people using assistive technologies while using the Tax Professional PTIN System (TPPS). The guide provides direction in accessing the site's features using specific assistive technologies, including screen readers, screen magnifiers and speech recognition software.

Application Overview

The IRS Tax Professional PTIN System allows you to sign-up and renew your Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), keep your account information current, view your continuing education credits, and receive communications from the IRS Return Preparer Office.

Technologies, Issues and Guidance

Elements Not Visible in High Contrast

If you enter TPPS with the High Contrast settings on, some elements will not be visible. These include:

  • White Contrast:
    • Header - IRS Logo
  • Blue Contrast:
    • Actions & Requests table – actions links

General Public Portal Behavior

For all users, regardless of whether Accessibility Tools are being used, the data entry fields on the TPPS public portal follow the same behavior:

  • Field labels defined within the data entry box: please make sure you wait for your accessibility tool to read the entire field name before you begin entering data in order to confirm which field you are entering information into.
  • Field formatting: please make sure you wait for your accessibility tool to read the entire field name before you begin entering data, the format of the field may be listed in the field name. Alternately, some fields will display the required format in an error message if the data you entered does not meet the specifications for that field.
  • Popups/Modal: The focus on a popup modal might get lost; depending on desired user action, the user can continue tabbing through to get to the desired link within the popup, or alternatively select the esc key on their keyboard to dismiss the popup.
  • Tabbing Order: For some pages, users will need to tab through the content more than once in order to get to the desired location within the page. This primarily impacts the pages within the registration flow that contain tiles, as well as pages where the calendar picker is present, the Secure Mailbox, and Professional Credential pages.
  • Zoom: While zoomed in at over 200%, users might not have access to the entire application. In these instances, users can use mouse keys to move to the desired location within the application. To use mouse keys, go to Ease of Access then click on the mouse section and turn on mouse keys. Check the Only use Mouse Keys when Num Lock is on. Turn on NumLock. Use the following numbers on the keypad to move the mouse 2,4,8,6 then press 5 to click.
  • Focus: Users should use shift/tab to get focus on the desired field or element on the page.
  • Duplicative and Extra Information is Read: JAWS and Mac VoiceOver is reading information on pages in a duplicative manner. Users should be aware that this is the case, and that they can continue to select links, or enter data despite the duplicative text that is read. This happens on the Account Pre-Screening page, Date of Birth field, Login widget and Footer Links.
  • Inline Error Messages are Not Read: While the application is performing error validations, JAWS and Mac VoiceOver does not read the inline error message when it gets displayed. In these instances, users need to use reading keys to have the error message read in the entire application. Users will hear errors when they select the next button, and JAWS will announce errors on the page.

JAWS Known Issues

Header Text is Read While Not in Focus

When the user uses insert arrow down or uses reading keys to have JAWS read the page, focus is on text that is not visible and JAWS states Heading Level one Account Screening. This occurs on every page of the Application Heading that pertains to the process being completed. Users should ignore this and wait until JAWS begins to read content in focus.


Checkboxes do not receive proper JAWS focus and no visual focus when the user tabs to them. In these instances, the user should utilize the on-screen focus to determine the most accurate checkbox to select for the Calendar Year selection pages.

Payment Terms and Conditions

JAWS will read all the Payment Terms and Conditions despite these not being visually displayed to the user. Users should be aware that this happens on this page and that all text will be read.

Two Menus

While this is not consistently happening, users might see two menu bars while leveraging JAWS. This will not prohibit users from using the application.

New Content on Account Pre-Screening Page

On the account pre-screening page, pop-up content is not always read when it is displayed on the page, in these cases, users can tab to the message once it pops up on the page.

Dragon Known Issues

Inactive Buttons

Dragon will read inactive buttons, users should make a selection on the page prior to proceeding in order to continue within the application.

Mac VoiceOver (VO) Issues

Account Pre-Screening

On the Account pre-screening page, additional information is announced more than once. Users should be aware that while information should only be read once, the functionality is enabled the second time the information is read. This includes any links on the page.

Back Button

When a user tabs to the back button, additional information is announced across the entire application. Users should ignore the "less than" messaging while on the back button in order to proceed with their application.

Tool Tips

When a user tabs to tooltip, VO will announce "empty tooltip" to the user, which should not be announced. Users should ignore this message while on the Tax Year field.

Form Fields and Buttons Announced Twice

While on the Next button, the form fields on the basic information page content is announced twice. Users should be aware that this is happening and can proceed once the information has been announced.


VO is announcing tile tooltip but not what is written on the tiles. User can proceed with selecting the tile associated with the tool tip that applies to them in order to proceed with the application for the main menu tiles.

Data Security Attestation Page

Users should be aware that while on this page, the checkbox tooltip will be announced. Users can continue to select the checkbox in order to proceed with the application.

Show Numbers Command

  1. When using 'show numbers' command on a page with a modal, elements behind the modal are also recognized.
  2. When using 'show numbers' command on the calendar date picket, user is unable to navigate calendar with those same commands
  3. Focus is lost when 'show numbers' command is in use

For all these cases, users should use the 'show grid' command to fine tune page selections. Alternatively, users can select the number associated with the date field for the calendar picker and dictate the date as opposed to using the calendar picker.


Selectable Tiles

Focus appears to disappear when navigating selectable tiles within the application. In these instances, users should use their tab key to toggle selection of the required tiles.