Tax Standards

Statements on Standards for Tax Services Overview 

The AICPA’s Statements on Standards for Tax Services (SSTSs) are enforceable tax practice standards for members of the AICPA.  The SSTSs apply to all members regardless of the jurisdictions in which they practice and the types of taxes with respect to which they are providing services.  The original SSTSs, adopted in 2000, were revised in 2009, effective January 1, 2010. See below for links to the current and the former SSTSs.

            Statements on Standards for Tax Services - Effective January 1, 2010        

            
SSTS Interpretations  

SSTS Interpretation No. 1-1, “Realistic Possibility Standard” (2000)
Interpretation No. 1-1, "Realistic Possibility Standard" of Statement on Standards for Tax Services No. 1, Tax Return Positions (2000), offers guidance to members regarding the “realistic possibility standard."  (This Interpretation is included in the SSTSs 2000-2009 document, above.)  NOTE:  Interpretation No. 1-1 currently is being updated.  

SSTS Interpretation No. 1-2, Tax Planning (2003)
Interpretation No. 1-2, "Tax Planning," of Statement on Standards for Tax Services No. 1, Tax Return Positions, offers additional guidance to members regarding providing services in connection with tax planning.  Interpretation 1-2 sets forth a five-step process for members to use in providing tax planning opinions and in reviewing third-party opinions.  The Interpretation applies to members in public practice as well as those in industry.  It also applies both to prospective and completed transactions, including recommending or expressing oral and written opinions on tax return positions, and to tax return preparation.   NOTE: Interpretation 1-2 currently is being updated.          

Additional Tax Practice Standards and Ethics Rules
 
For information on additional standards and ethics rules applicable to tax practice, see Standards and Ethics under the Interest Areas - Tax section of the website.

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Statements on Standards for Tax Services

Overview AICPA's Statements on Standards for Tax Services (SSTSs) are enforceable tax practice standards for members of the AICPA. These standards apply to all members regardless of the jurisdictions in which they practice and the types of taxes with respect to which they are providing service.  This page includes the full
Published on June 24, 2016

Circular 230

Professional Standards Treasury Regulations Circular 230 guidance, information, practice aids and other resources related to Circular 230, which govern a CPA’s practice before the Internal Revenue Service.
Published on June 23, 2016

Tax Ethics & Professional Standards

Overview This page provides guidance and information on tax ethics & professional standards for tax practice, as well as practice aids and resources to help members elevate their practices and maintain the highest ethical standards.
Published on June 20, 2016

Section 7216 Guidance and Resources

FAQ Final Treasury Regulations on rules and consent requirements relating to the disclosure or use of tax return information by tax return preparers became effective Dec. 28, 2012.
Published on May 03, 2016

Sample Consent Forms

Sample Letter Sample Section 7216 Disclosure Consent Forms for Tax Information
Published on August 28, 2015

Due Diligence in Tax Services

Practice Guide The purpose of this practice guide is to provide guidance as to what due diligence consists of in the context of tax services.
Published on May 22, 2015

Overview of the Federally Authorized Tax Practitioner Client Privilege Under IRC Sec. 7525

Practice Guide This practice guide explains the federally authorized tax practitioner—client privilege pursuant to section 7525, Confidentiality Privileges Related to Taxpayer Communications.
Published on May 22, 2015

Guidelines for Conflicts of Interest in the Performance of Federal Tax Services

Article The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to AICPA members who render tax services with regard to conflicts of interest.  The rule set forth in Circular 230 is not identical to that set forth in the AICPA standards.  A member must consider both standards when considering whether there
Published on May 22, 2015

Circular 230 Revisions Finalized

Article Journal of Accountancy, December 2007.  The Treasury Department issued final regulations amending a number of Circular 230 standards, including sections on conflicts of interest, contingent fees, conduct for which practitioners may be sanctioned and publicity of disciplinary hearings. Most of the changes became effective upon their issuance on Sept. 26.
Published on October 09, 2014

Tax Return Positions FAQs

FAQ This is informal guidance, in the form of Q&As related to SSTS No. 1 Tax Return Positions.  The Q&As are relevant real life examples that practitioners can come across in practice.
Published on October 09, 2014

SSTS-No.7,-Form-and-Contact-of-Advice-to-Taxpayers PDF

White Paper This is the Statement of Standards for Tax Services No.7, Form and contect of Advice to Taxpayers.
Published on October 09, 2014

SSTS No.6, Knowledge of Error, Return Preparation and Administrative Proceedings PDF

White Paper This is the Statement on Standards for Tax Services No.6, Knowledge of Error, Return Preparation and Administrative Proceedings.
Published on October 09, 2014

SSTS No.5, Departure From a Position Previously concluded in an Administrative Proceeding or Court Decision

White Paper This is the Statement on Standards for Tax Services No.5, Departure From a Position Previously concluded in an Administrative Proceeding or Court Decision.
Published on October 09, 2014

SSTS No.4, Use of Estimates

White Paper This is the Statement on Standards for Tax Services No.4, Use of Estimates.
Published on October 09, 2014

SSTS No.2, Answers to Questions on Returns PDF

White Paper This is the Statement on Standards for Tax Services No.2, Answers to Questions on Returns.
Published on October 09, 2014

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