Tags: IRS | Loving v. IRS | verdict | tax preparers

What Does Loving v. IRS Verdict Mean for Tax Preparers?

By    |   Sunday, 19 Jul 2015 02:10 PM

Independent tax professionals were off the hook for certification after a federal appeals court in 2014 ruled in Loving v. IRS that the federal government had overstepped its bounds in trying to regulate them.

Many who had been in the business for decades argued that there was no reason to make them sit through classes and pay for a certification when they had been working successfully for years without federal oversight.

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In May, the IRS announced it would refund about $10 million to tax preparers who paid about $116 each in testing fees between November 2011 and January 2014. About 89,000 tests were taken during that time.

Now, however, some are weary that the IRS will continue to seek such certification efforts and not without good reason. The 2016 budget of President Barack Obama asks for authority to regulate all paid tax return preparers, a measure much-watched by the industry, AccountingWeb reported.

Some tax preparers, 44,000 thus far, have embraced the government's voluntary program, the Annual Filing Season Program. Under it, they take 18 hours of continuing education courses annually, with six devoted to a refresher on changes in federal laws.

If they pass a test, their names are added to a searchable database that consumers can visit to ensure they have strong qualifications, AccountingWeb noted.

Forbes noted that just because a tax preparer's name isn't on the list, doesn't mean they are not qualified. It's just one way a consumer might vet someone they are considering hiring to do their taxes.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen called the directory, ”a practical tool for the millions of Americans who rely on the services of a paid return preparer.”

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Independent tax professionals were off the hook for certification after a federal appeals court in 2014 ruled in Loving v. IRS that the federal government had overstepped its bounds in trying to regulate them.
Loving v. IRS, verdict, tax preparers
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2015-10-19
Sunday, 19 Jul 2015 02:10 PM
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