IRS loses lawsuit in fight against tax preparers

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal judge has ruled that the IRS lacks authority to impose new regulations, including a competency exam, on hundreds of thousands of tax preparers.

The ruling last Friday from Judge James Boasberg bars the IRS from implementing a host of regulations that would have required tax preparers to pass a qualifying exam, pay an annual application fee, and take 15 hours of continuing-education courses.

Attorneys and certified public accountants would have been exempt from the regulations.

An Arlington, Va.-based libertarian legal firm, the Institute for Justice, filed the suit on behalf of three tax preparers who said the new regulations would put them out of business or force them to raise prices.

The IRS said the new regulations were needed to address a growing problem of poorly prepared returns.

Published: Tue, Jan 22, 2013