The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the IRS had no legal authority to impose a nationwide licensing scheme on tax return preparers that would have required testing and continuing education as Registered Tax Return Preparers.

The decision affirms a January 2013 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg, which struck down the IRS’s new regulations as unlawful (see Court Rules IRS Doesn’t Have the Authority to Regulate Tax Preparers). In the case, known as Loving v. IRS, both courts rejected the IRS’s claim that tax-preparer licensure was authorized by an obscure 1884 statute governing the representatives of Civil War soldiers seeking compensation for dead horses.

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