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Kudos to the Institute for Justice

Joe Henchman writes at the Tax Foundation’s tax policy blog that the U.S. District Court for the District of Column has struck down the IRS’s “arbitrary tax preparer licensing requirement.” According to Henchman:

“Back in March, the libertarian public interest law firm the Institute for Justice (IJ) sued the IRS over its new and arbitrary requirement that tax preparers pay fees, pass a government exam, and take 15 hours of continuing education classes every year. Attorneys, CPAs, and other politically-connected groups are exempt from the requirement . . . .

“IJ argued on behalf of several small tax preparers that the IRS had no authority to impose such regulations, noting that Congress had considered it on a number of occasions but never passed it. The IRS pointed to 31 U.S.C. § 330, which permits the government to "regulate the practice of representatives of persons before the Department of the Treasury"; IJ convincingly argued that this refers to establishing rules for hearings and appeals within the IRS, not tax preparation.”

Additional information is available at the tax policy blog and here and here (video) at the Institute for Justice’s website. Here's how IJ explained why they filed the lawsuit:

"This lawsuit continues IJ’s long tradition of fighting for the economic liberty of entrepreneurs against regulations that do little more than expand government power and protect politically powerful groups from competition. Tax preparers like Sabina, Elmer and John have a right to earn a living without getting permission from the IRS. A win for them will be a win for the estimated 350,000 tax return preparers nationwide who will be subject to these regulations and to the tens of millions of taxpayer customers they serve each year."

We join the Tax Foundation in congratulating the Institute for Justice and taxpayers.

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