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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    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 May 22, 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
    Published on May 22, 2015

    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 April 15, 2015

    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 February 03, 2015

    Statements on Standards for Tax Services Overview

    Professional Standards This section covers AICPA professional standards and ethics in delivering tax services, including the Statements of Standards for Tax Services.
    Published on October 09, 2014

    Sample Client Letter on the Impact of IRS Circular 230 Written Advice Standards

    Sample Letter This document includes a sample letter to notify clients that you have added disclaimer language based on the IRS Circular 230 requirements applicable to "written advice" rendered on or after June 20, 2005.
    Published on October 09, 2014

    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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