IRS can't require tax preparers to be licensed, court rules
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 11:36 AM
The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the Internal Revenue Service has no legal authority to impose nationwide licensing requirements on tax return preparers, Accounting Today reported. The decision affirms a January 2013 ruling that struck down the IRS' new regulations that would have required testing and continuing education of tax preparers. In the case, known as Loving v. IRS, both courts rejected the IRS' claim that tax preparer licensure was authorized by an obscure 1884 statute governing the representatives of Civil War soldiers seeking compensation for dead horses. The appeals court held, "If we were to accept the IRS' interpretation of [the statute], the IRS would be empowered for the first time to regulate hundreds of thousands of individuals in the multibillion-dollar tax preparation industry. Yet nothing in the statute's text or the legislative record contemplates that vast expansion of the IRS' authority."