Court Solidifies Ruling

J. Justin Wilson
J. Justin Wilson · February 1, 2013

Arlington, Va.Today a federal judge has denied the IRS’s request to suspend his January 18 ruling that struck down the IRS’s tax-preparer scheme as unlawful. The courtasked, “[W]hy should tax-return preparers continue to pay into a system the Court has found unlawful?”

U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg ruled that no tax-return preparer may be required to pay testing or continuing-education fees or to complete any testing or continuing education while the injunction is in place. Judge Boasberg clarified that his injunction did not affect a separate set of regulations requiring tax preparers to have an identification number known as a PTIN or prevent the IRS from operating its testing or continuing-education centers on a strictly voluntary basis.

The court wrote today, “[S]ome preparers may wish to take the exam or continuing education even if not required to. Such voluntarily obtained credentials might distinguish them from other preparers.”

“This is a great outcome for tax preparers nationwide,” Dan Alban, lead attorney for the three independent tax preparers who had challenged the suit. “It allows them to continue preparing tax returns this tax season without having to get permission from the IRS. This is the best of both worlds—preparers who value the certification can still obtain it, but no tax preparer is forced to get a government permission slip to earn a living.”
The Institute for Justice is the nation’s law firm for liberty. For over 20 years IJ has been a leading legal advocate for the rights of entrepreneurs. For more on IJ’s lawsuit against the IRS, please visit