Magazine article The CPA Journal

U.S. Court of Appeals and the Florida American Express Tax and Business Services Case

Magazine article The CPA Journal

U.S. Court of Appeals and the Florida American Express Tax and Business Services Case

Article excerpt

The U.S. Court of Appeals recently ruled on the appeal of the Florida State Board of Accountancy in its action against Stephen Miller and American Express Tax & Business Services (TBS). The appeal related to the decision of the U.S. District Court that held that Stephen Miller had a first amendment right to identify himself as a CPA while performing accounting services (other than attest services) as an employee of TBS. At issue is the Florida requirement that the practice of public accounting is restricted to those that are owners or employees of firms or corporations that are wholly owned by CPAs. TBS does not meet that requirement although its CPA employees perform services that fall within the definition of the practice of public accountancy under Florida Statute.

The Court of Appeals ruled as follows:

The State of Florida is enjoined from enforcing statutes that would prohibit Miller from holding out as a CPA in an unlicensed firm while performing only nonattest business services.

The part of the decision that extended to similarly situated individuals is vacated, because Miller was not representing a class of plaintiffs. …

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