Judge Tosses IRS Preparer Regulation

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Dan Maurer, IntuitA federal judge has permanently blocked the Internal Revenue Service from regulating tax return preparers. The decision by a U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted a permanent injunction that would halt the IRS program whose major requirements primarily affect non-credentialed preparers. In response, the IRS immediately stopped enforcing the rules.

The court made its ruling on a suit brought by three preparers and the conservative group, the Institute for Justice. Under the program, all paid preparers are required to receive federal tax preparer identification numbers. Enrolled Agents, CPAs and tax attorneys were exempted from annual requirements for Continuing  Professional Education.

The decision would allow unregulated preparers to file returns starting on January 30 when the IRS begins accepting them.

Meanwhile, the IRS was reported to be mulling its options, but had no public statements on what it would do. There was concern in the tax preparation community, with Intuit saying the decision was an unfortunate event. "We believe the drive toward raising overall tax industry standards must and will continue and the recent court decision is not the end of this important national journey," Dan Maurer, SVP and general manager of Intut's consumer  tax group, said in a prepared statement.

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