Ethics: There's More To It Than You Think


Ethics in a tax practice is much more than merely “doing the right thing.” Practitioners with the best of intentions and a genuine belief they are in compliance can easily and unknowingly run amok with a myriad of obligations and requirements.

Individuals that provide tax services also have access to their clients' most sensitive information and data, and need to hold those in the strictest confidence. The disclosure and use of taxpayer data is serious business and the failure to abide by IRC §7216 can have very painful consequences.

This course covers aspects and provisions of Circular 230 and provides insight about common practical applications that arise in the real-world of tax practice.  Basic obligations such as due diligence (and the consequences for failure to delve deep enough), conflicting interests and numerous other potential traps inherent in our profession will be addressed as well.

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify the main sources of the regulations and procedures that govern the ethical requirements of tax practitioners
  • Give examples of the types of activities performed by a tax professional that are regarded as practice before the IRS
  • Given a scenario where a tax professional is representing a client, correctly identify whether the communications between the two parties are covered by attorney-client privilege
  • Recognize examples of willful failure by a tax practitioner to perform his or her legal duty and give examples of the types of actions by a tax practitioner that would fall under the heading of incompetence and disreputable conduct as defined by Circular 230
  • Given examples of a tax practitioner’s use of client information, determine whether or not that use is permitted under the provisions of Section 7216 of the tax code

Designed For

CPAs, EAs, and other tax professionals
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