Tags: IRS | Loving v. IRS | verdict | taxpayers

What Does Loving v. IRS Verdict Mean for Taxpayers?

By    |   Sunday, 19 Jul 2015 01:23 PM

The 2014 appeals court ruling in Loving v. IRS was deemed a victory for independent tax preparers who had argued the IRS was overstepping its bounds to try to regulate them. For taxpayers, however, some say the ruling was a loss.

Because such preparers don't have to pass a certification, taxpayers must do strong research and choose wisely when hiring a professional to file their tax forms.

The IRS continues to assert that it wants to make sure consumers get the best from those service providers.

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After losing its appeal, the IRS created a voluntary program for tax preparers. Its Commissioner John Koskinen told Congress in 2014: "The idea of a voluntary program is under consideration because we believe it is important to maintain the momentum for regulation and oversight of unregulated preparers that has built up over the last five years, and to lessen the risks to taxpayers resulting from the lack of federal education requirements.”

Koskinen said that he wanted consumers to have some measure of confidence in the skills of those people they hired to prepare returns, according to the Greater Washington Society of CPAs. He added that he believes many taxpayers would agree with him.

“My sense is that we should be able to provide that same educational training and that background to preparers,” Koskinen said, according to GWSCPA. If you can’t require it, offer it, and if you complete the information, you get a certificate that says, ‘I have completed the IRS preparer course.’ I think that could be over time very valuable to preparers, and consumers could ask preparers, ‘Have you gone through the IRS training?’"

A voluntary program called the Annual Filing Season Program was rolled out by the IRS in 2015 and met with mixed reactions, Forbes noted. It required 18 hours of continuing education classes including "10 hours on federal tax law topics, two hours on ethics, and a six-hour tax filing season refresher course. The refresher course includes a comprehension test of 100 questions," Forbes wrote.

The IRS said that those who participate in the Annual Filing Season Program will stand out from their competition by having a record of their ongoing education and commitment to quality.

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The 2014 appeals court ruling in Loving v. IRS was deemed a victory for independent tax preparers who had argued the IRS was overstepping its bounds to try to regulate them. For taxpayers, however, some say the ruling was a loss.
Loving v. IRS, verdict, taxpayers
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2015-23-19
Sunday, 19 Jul 2015 01:23 PM
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