Federal Appeals Court Rules AICPA Has Standing to Challenge IRS’s Voluntary Tax Preparer Program

November 19, 2015

GavelThe U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled for the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) in its challenge to the IRS’s “voluntary” Annual Filing Season Program aimed at regulating unlicensed tax return preparers.

A three-judge appeals panel on October 30 ruled that the AICPA had standing to sue the agency over the issue. Their decision reversed a 2014 ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and allows the lawsuit to proceed.

“The AICPA has steadfastly supported the IRS’s objectives to improve the ethics and compliance levels of paid tax return preparers, and so that taxpayers receive the best service possible,” AICPA President and  CEO Barry C. Melancon, CPA, CGMA said in a statement. “However, while we do not dispute the goals of the IRS’s plan, we disagree with the approach and believe it is an overbroad and unlawful exercise of government power.

The AICPA asserts that the “voluntary” program is effectively mandatory.

For more information, read the story in the July 2014 CPA Advocate.