AICPA Has Standing to Challenge IRS Return Preparer Program

October 30, 2015

Tax Analysts reports that the AICPA’s lawsuit challenging the IRS's voluntary annual filing season program for unenrolled tax return preparers may proceed, the D.C. Circuit held October 30.

Nathan Richman and Marie Sapirie wrote that the court held in American Institute of Certified Public Accountants v. IRS, No. 14-5309 (D.C. Cir. 2015) that the AICPA has standing to challenge the IRS's annual filing season program because of the potential for increased competition from participants in the program.

The AICPA issued a statement welcoming the circuit court's decision. It said it agrees with the IRS on the need to regulate paid tax return preparers, but disagrees with the approach taken by the annual filing season program and further with the description of the program as voluntary.

The court reversed a district court opinion from last year finding no harm to AICPA members and dismissing the case. The case will now go back to the district court for determination of the AICPA’s substantive claim.