A federal judge on Friday barred the IRS from imposing a series of new regulations, including a competency exam, on hundreds of thousands of tax preparers.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington ruled against the IRS in favor of three tax preparers who filed suit last year with the help of a libertarian legal group, the Arlington, Va.-based Institute for Justice.
Since 2011, in response to what it says has been a growing problem of poorly done returns, the IRS has sought to impose a series of new regulations on tax preparers. That included a requirement to pass a qualifying exam, paying an annual application fee, and taking 15 hours annually of continuing-education courses.
Attorneys and certified public accountants would have been exempt from the regulations.
The Institute for Justice argued that the IRS lacked the statutory authority to impose the regulations and said they would put tens of thousands of mom-and-pop tax preparers out of business, because the regulations were onerous and create a competitive disadvantage to the attorneys and CPAs who were exempt.