So much for not dealing with taxes on my last free Saturday.
Yesterday the decision on Loving vs. The Internal Revenue Service was handed down and it was a big surprise. The judge ruled that the IRS must stop the licensing of tax preparers. A permanent injunction was issued. Now we have to wait to see how the IRS will respond.
But I need to rant a little.
This lawsuit involved three tax preparers who claimed in part that the costs of the new tax preparer regulations will force them to stop preparing returns. Bovine excrement! The preparer costs are a onetime testing fee of $116, an annual PTIN registration of $64.25 and the costs of 15 hours of continuing education. How much does the CPE requirement cost? That depends on the courses used. In 2012, I paid $428.50 for 32 hours of course work. That averages to $13.39 an hour. I could have spent less. I’ve seen free CPE and companies that offer packages under $10 an hour. I’ve also spent more for special courses I wanted to take. But working from an average of $15 an hour for 15 hours equal $225 a year for continuing education. So the plaintiffs in Loving vs. the IRS contend that a onetime cost of $116 and an annual cost of about $300 will force them out of the tax prep business. Sorry, but if your business can’t survive a $300 expenses (which can be passed on to clients) then you should really consider not being in that business. Sorry!
But should the continuing education cost really be a new expense for any tax preparation business? How do the plaintiffs and thousands of others prepare for the tax season? How do they keep up with law changes and paperwork requirements?
I understand filing this lawsuit under strict libertarian principles. But part of the judge’s ruling is that this law will cause “irreparable injury” because 2 of the plaintiffs would have to close their businesses. Closing a business for $300 a year plus a onetime testing fee is bogus. Especially when some of the $300 should have been expenses the business was already paying.