Tax Return Preparer Ethical Issues

Tax Return Preparer Ethical Issues


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
  • 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, you should be able to:

  • Recognize the permitted scope of 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
  • List practitioner duties and restrictions with respect to
    • Information to be furnished to the IRS
    • The practice of law
    • Dealing with taxpayer omissions, errors and noncompliance with U.S. revenue laws
    • The requirement for preparer diligence as to accuracy
    • Return of client records
    • The existence of conflicts of interest
    • Solicitation of business
  • List the various sanctions that may be imposed for a preparers failure to comply with applicable conduct rules.


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Additional information


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Knowledge Level

Advanced Preparation

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Who Should Attend

SKU: PW-119.23|Credits: 3|Ethics Regulatory|eBook|Winn Publications Category: Tags: , , , is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional  education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of  accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses  for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be  submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: