I have been blessed to earn a living doing what I love: helping people with their taxes. Last year I opened my business, Loving Tax Services, in my Chicago neighborhood that is plagued with high unemployment and many boarded-up buildings. My business is the first to occupy its storefront in at least a dozen years, and I’ve been fortunate enough to employ several people in my community and bring money back into our neighborhood.
But a new licensing scheme from the IRS threatens not only me and my employees, but countless other entrepreneurs just like me all across the country. That’s why I teamed up with the Institute for Justice to fight back.
Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be an accountant and work with numbers. I dreamed of one day starting my own business. For more than 10 years, I worked as an accountant, and even put myself through graduate school. The economic downtown hit my industry hard. I decided to use that as an opportunity to realize my American Dream and put myself to work as an independent tax preparer.
Everything I’ve done for my business has been right out of my pocket, and through hard work, I’ve been able to steadily grow my company. Business has been good, that is, until the IRS’s new licensing scheme came along.
Now the IRS is requiring me to first get its permission before I can work. This costly process involves paying fees, sitting a licensing exam, and enduring unending continuing education courses every year. Big companies like H&R Block can absorb these costs—in fact they supported the regulations and helped get them passed. And powerful groups like the American Institute for CPAs even successfully lobbied to get most tax preparers at CPA firms exempt from the testing and licensing. Attorneys and individual CPAs are also exempt.
As happens all too often, there is a special set of rules for the politically powerful, and another set of rules for the rest of us. I can compete with them on a fair level, but now the playing field is far from fair.
In reality, this new regulation doesn’t protect consumers; there are already all sorts of laws that do that. Instead, it protects big tax chains and special interest groups from competition, and will likely result in fewer options and higher prices for taxpayers. If I am forced to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year jumping through these hoops, then I have to pass those costs along to my customers. Higher prices means fewer customers, and I may be forced to let some of my employees go.
I want to hire more people, and supervise them as tax preparers so I can expand my business. I’m not a CPA or an attorney, however, so anybody I employ as a tax preparer would also have to go through this same costly process because people like me don’t have a powerful lobbying group working on our behalf. I didn’t get to help write the rules, so I don’t get a special exemption. I’m simply a small businesswoman, trying to stay afloat in this economy while helping people and building my community. I should have the right to earn a living doing what I love, and so should my employees. Equally important, my customers—not the IRS—should be the ones deciding who prepares their taxes.
To protect our rights, I have joined forces with other independent tax preparers and the Institute for Justice in a federal lawsuit against the IRS. When we succeed, we will help protect not only our economic liberty, but the rights of Americans nationwide to choose their own tax preparer.
Sabina Loving is an independent tax preparer who is suing the IRS to secure her economic liberty. For more information, visit www.ij.org/irs-tax-preparers
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Joseph Hammond
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Emma Elliott Freire