ATLANTA (CN) – The IRS has the right to limit who may represent taxpayers before the agency, the 11th Circuit ruled.
Patrick Wright, a self-employed tax consultant, registered with the IRS an “unenrolled tax return preparer,” but was not allowed to represent other taxpayers, the ruling states.
In a per-curiam opinion, the judges upheld the lower court’s summary judgment for the government.
“Congress has provided that only attorneys and CPAs may represent a person before the IRS,” the judges ruled. “No other individuals are granted a statutory right to do so.”
The court concluded: “The IRS has provided valid reasons for the limits on who may practice, noting that the regulation balances the need for a taxpayer to have affordable representation and to be able to choose his representative with the need for competent representation that protects the taxpayer, the IRS, and the general public.”