The IRS, in its latest briefs, continues to make similar arguments about statutory authority dating back to an 1884 law allowing a government agency to regulate those who practice before it. The IRS also included a paragraph arguing it has “inherent authority,” but Alban noted that it is not making as much of that as it did earlier after the district court was dismissive of that argument. The IRS cited a new statute that it claimed gave it this “inherent authority,” but Alban noted that the statute is not one that the IRS told Congress it was relying upon when it passed the regulations in the first place.
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No Additional Plaintiffs
Since prevailing in the lawsuit, the Institute for Justice has heard from well over 100 tax preparers across the country who contacted the firm either asking to join the lawsuit, express support, or simply tell their story. However, the firm so far has declined to add anyone else to the lawsuit.
“We don’t need additional plaintiffs at this point,” said Alban. “Although this case is not a class action, it effectively operates like a class action because it affects not just the three plaintiffs—Sabina Loving, Elmer Kilian and John Gambino—but it also affects all tax preparers who would have been subject to these regulations. All 350,000 tax preparers who would have been subject to this licensing scheme, according to estimates from the IRS, will benefit from this lawsuit because they no longer are forced to comply with the RTRP licensing imposed by the IRS.
“At least they benefit for now,” he added. “Obviously the case is on appeal, so that’s not final.”