The American Institute of CPAs has filed a federal lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service challenging the legality of the IRS's plans for voluntary continuing education and testing of tax preparers.

The IRS announced the voluntary program, which it called the Annual Filing Season Program, last month after federal courts ruled last year that the IRS had overstepped its statutory authority in imposing a mandatory testing and continuing education program of tax preparers (see IRS Offers Voluntary Tax Preparer Education Program). The AICPA wrote to the IRS warning that the voluntary program would also be unlawful, but IRS commissioner John Koskinen told reporters last month when announcing the program that the agency’s Office of Chief Counsel and the Treasury Department’s General Counsel had reviewed the matter carefully and assured the IRS that it had the legal authority to proceed.

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