Posted by Bob Probasco
I recently published an article on Law360.com, "Loving: Who Can the IRS Regulate?" The case involves recent changes to Circular 230 that require registration, competency exams, and continuing education for tax return preparers who are not attorneys, CPAs, or enrolled agents. The district court overturned the regulations and the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is currently considering the case. (For additional information, see our previous blog post, A Surprising Development in IRS Regulation of Tax Professionals.) The article summarizes the background of the regulations and the court’s decision that Congress did not give the IRS authority to regulate tax return preparers. Although people can reasonably disagree over the policy issue of whether the government should engage in such occupational licensing, I conclude that the regulation was within the IRS authority to regulate practice before it. The district court’s narrow interpretation of the authority to regulate could also impact other aspects of Circular 230. If you have any questions about this issue, please contact me or any of the other Tax lawyers at Thompson & Knight.