Tax Return Preparer Ethical Issues

Overview

The Internal Revenue Service routinely processes more than 200 million tax returns each year, many of them prepared by tax professionals. Not surprisingly, as tax law becomes increasingly complex, taxpayers often seek for the knowledgeable assistance of attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents and other qualified tax return preparers. To help ensure such professionals understand their ethical responsibilities in representing their clients before the IRS and in preparing their tax returns, the IRS has published Treasury Department Circular No. 230. Circular 230 offers substantial guidance by setting forth rules relating to the authority to practice before the IRS, identifying the duties and restrictions relating to practice before the IRS, and prescribing sanctions for violating the regulations.

This course will examine many of those rules, duties, and restrictions as well as the sanctions imposed for their violation. In that examination of applicable rules, the course will discuss the requirements imposed on tax return preparers by them and will then present real-world scenarios focusing on specific ethical issues preparers may encounter in their professional activities. The preparer will be asked to analyze the scenario, identify the ethical issue or issues presented, and determine an appropriate response.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  • recognize the permitted scope of registered tax return preparer responsibilities
  • identify the best practices for tax advisers in preparing or assisting in the preparation of a submission to the Internal Revenue Service
  • recognize practitioner duties and restrictions
  • identify the various sanctions that may be imposed for a preparer's failure to comply with applicable conduct rules

Tax Year: 2020

Designed For

CPAs, EAs, and other tax professionals
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