A federal judge has ruled that the IRS lacks authority to impose new regulations, including a competency exam, on hundreds of thousands of tax preparers.

The ruling Friday from Judge James Boasberg bars the IRS from implementing a host of regulations that would have required tax preparers to pass a qualifying exam, pay an annual application fee, and take 15 hours of continuing-education courses.

Attorneys and certified public accountants would have been exempt from the regulations.