mostlycloudy
Tuesday July 7th, 2015 1:42PM

IRS loses appeal on new rules for tax preparers

By The Associated Press
McLEAN, Va. (AP) -- The IRS on Tuesday lost a federal appeal in a legal battle over its effort to institute competency exams and other new regulations for as many as 700,000 paid tax preparers.<br /> <br /> A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously upheld a lower court's ruling last year that the IRS lacked authority to impose the new rules without congressional authorization.<br /> <br /> The regulations were challenged by the Institute for Justice in Arlington, Va., a libertarian legal group that has filed a variety of lawsuits challenging occupational licensing laws. It argued that the proposed regulations for tax preparers were onerous and would have put thousands of mom-and-pop tax preparers out of business.<br /> <br /> Dan Alban, a lawyer for the institute who argued the case in front of the D.C. circuit, called the ruling "a clear win both for tax preparers and taxpayers" and said it could have broad implications for federal agencies that attempt to issue regulations without a mandate from Congress.<br /> <br /> "Congress never gave the IRS the power to license tax preparers, and the IRS cannot give itself that authority," Alban said.<br /> <br /> The IRS has said the rules are needed to weed out ill-trained and incompetent tax preparers. It said it had the authority to impose the regulations under an 1884 law passed to help Civil War soldiers seeking compensation for dead horses.<br /> <br /> That law authorizes the IRS to "regulate the practice of representatives of persons before the Department of the Treasury" but the appellate judges said it should not be stretched to give the IRS regulatory dominion over tax preparers.<br /> <br /> "It might be that allowing the IRS to regulate tax-return preparers more stringently would be wise as a policy matter. But that is a decision for Congress and the President to make if they wish by enacting new legislation," Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote in an opinion joined by David Sentelle and Stephen Williams. "The IRS may not unilaterally expand its authority through such an expansive, atextual, and ahistorical reading" of the law.<br /> <br /> Kavanaugh was appointed to the court by George W. Bush. Sentelle and Williams are both Reagan appointees.<br /> <br /> On Tuesday the IRS said it is reviewing the decision and "continues to believe that it's critical for taxpayers to be able to rely on quality work from tax preparers."<br /> <br /> Paid tax preparers fill out 60 percent of all U.S. tax returns, according to a study from the Government Accountability Office, a congressional watchdog agency. The GAO has found significant problems over the years in the quality of work done by them. In one 2006 study, the GAO took tax returns to 19 different commercial tax preparers, and 17 of 19 incorrectly calculated the taxes due.<br /> <br /> The regulations sought by the IRS would have required preparers to pass a qualifying exam, pay an annual application fee, and take 15 hours annually of continuing-education courses. Attorneys and CPAs would have been exempt from the rules.<br /> <br /> Had the regulations not been challenged, they would have taken effect this year.<br /> <br /> Sabina Loving, an independent tax preparer from Chicago who was the lead plaintiff on the case, said in a statement that "(m)y customers - not the IRS - should be the ones who get to choose who prepares their taxes. I have a right to earn an honest living without getting permission from the IRS."
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 6 months ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 6 months ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 6 months ago )
Local/State News
Palestinians push ahead in pursuit of war crimes charges against Israel
Stung by a resounding defeat in the U.N. Security Council, the Palestinians announced Wednesday that they joined the International Criminal Court to pursue war crimes charges against Israel.
1:57PM ( 6 months ago )
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 6 months ago )
Applications for US jobless aid rise
More Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, but the number of applications continues to be at historically low levels.
9:23AM ( 6 months ago )
Business News
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 6 months ago )
KKK group to keep fighting to join road cleanup program in NE Ga.
A Georgia Ku Klux Klan group says it will move forward with its application for a highway cleanup program in northeast Georgia after a judge ruled the state's denial violated the organization's right to free speech.
12:24PM ( 6 months ago )
2-year-old accidentally kills mom in Idaho Wal-Mart
A 29-year-old woman described as a "beautiful, young, loving mother" was fatally shot by her 2-year-old son at a northern Idaho Wal-Mart in what authorities called a tragic accident.
9:09AM ( 6 months ago )
U.S. News
Cause of death, identity released in Banks County murder
The Banks County Sheriff's Office has released more details of last week's homicide near Homer.
1:38PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Clarks Bridge Rd. re-opens after gas leak cleared
A gas leak shut down Clarks Bridge Road near its intersection with Edgewater Drive earlier today, according to authorities.
11:40AM ( 2 hours ago )
Boil water advisory continues in part of Banks Co.
A water main break Monday night continues to cause problems for some City of Baldwin water customers who live in Banks County.
By AccessWDUN staff
11:16AM ( 2 hours ago )
Man finds part of human skull on Ga. beach; identity is mystery
Authorities say they're trying to identify part of a human skull found partially buried in the sand on a Georgia beach.
By Associated Press
11:10AM ( 2 hours ago )
The numbers tell the story: June was one warmest on record in N. Ga.
Most of north and Central Georgia was warmer-than-normal in June and most places were also drier-than-normal.
9:07AM ( 4 hours ago )