The aptly named decision Loving v. IRS—it’s so true, you know—provides a modest victory in the war of tax-takers versus everybody else.
The ruling, brought to our attention by the Institute for Justice, a party to the lawsuit, concerns IRS regulation of tax preparers. The IRS wants to force non-attorney, non-CPA tax preparers to take an exam, pay annual fees, and take hours of courses every year. District Judge James Boasberg has ruled the regs unlawful.
The regulations govern people hired by others. It would be really crazy if every non-credentialed taxpayer had to pass an exam, pay fees, and take courses every year just for the pleasure of filling out the forms we must complete in order to give IRS our money.
But the regulations are really crazy anyway. They violate the freedom of professional tax preparers. Also, by making it more expensive to be a tax preparer, they reduce the taxpayers’ tax-preparation choices and/or increase the costs of preparation services.
If judges regularly consulted such desiderata as our freedoms and rights when assessing assaults on them, many more regulations would be voided—say, 99.9 to 100 percent or thereabouts. Boasberg’s ruling hinges more narrowly on the important fact that Congress never gave IRS authority to regulate tax preparers.
The IRS has moved that the ruling be suspended pending its appeal. Let them lose the motion and lose the appeal, and I’ll be loving it.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.