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IRS Lacks Power to License Tax Preparers, Judge Rules

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service doesn’t have the authority to license hundreds of thousands of tax preparers, a federal judge ruled, throwing out a regulatory system that the agency was introducing in stages.

The licensing rules are invalid because the IRS stretched a law allowing it to regulate people who “advise and assist persons in presenting their cases” before the agency to cover tax preparers, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington wrote in a decision yesterday.