Tax Ethics & Professional Standards
CPA tax practitioners are subject to many different standards and ethics rules, including AICPA enforceable tax ethics, Circular 230, the Internal Revenue Code, state licensing boards and other regulatory agencies, professional associations, and various other laws and regulations. This page provides guidance on tax ethics and professional standards for tax practitioners, as well as practice aids and resources to help members elevate their practices and maintain the highest ethical standards.
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Checklist, Practice Guides, and Templates
- Levels of Confidence for Tax Return Positions: Chart to understand the relationship between the levels of confidence, disclosure and potential penalties for preparers and taxpayers.
- Sample Tax Practice Quality Control Document: Word template for tax practices of various sizes to use in fashioning their own tax practice quality control document.
- Sec. 7216 Sample Consent Forms: Template consent forms to use for purposes of disclosing or using client tax return information.
- Attorney Client Privilege and Use of Kovel Arrangements: FAQs about the privileges and protections afforded to a CPA who provides tax services.
- Due Diligence in Tax Services: Practice guide delivering guidance about due diligence considerations within the context of tax services.
- Overview of the Federally Authorized Tax Practitioner — Client Privilege Under Sec. 7525: Practice guide explaining the federally authorized tax practitioner pursuant to Sec. 7525, Confidentiality Privileges Related to Taxpayer Communications.
- Guidelines for Conflicts of Interest in the Performance of Federal Tax Services: Practice guide to assist CPA tax practitioners in identifying situations where possible conflicts arise and how to measure and minimize the risk.
Videos, Webcast Archives, and Other Media
- Tax Practice Quarterly: Annual Tax Ethics Update: A practical tax ethics course that discusses real-world ethical dilemmas CPA tax practitioners commonly encounter including an explanation of various ethical rules and standards, examples and recent case studies to reinforce how the rules are applied. Download the slides.
- Tax Ethics and Professional Standards Guidance, Resource page providing an overview of guidance on tax ethics and professional standards.
- Ethics and Risk Issues in FBAR Preparation, The Tax Adviser, Nov. 2016
- Use Standard Terms to Build a Liability Shield, Journal of Accountancy, Oct. 2016
- Tax Ethics – Always Evolving, Yet Remaining Forever a Sure Thing, Tax Section News, Sept. 2016
- Form 2848: Ethical Issues for Tax Practitioners, The Tax Adviser, Aug. 2016
- Tax Return Processes: The Intersection of Due Diligence and Quality Control, The Tax Adviser, Feb. 2016
- Professional Ethics and Responsibilities in Tax Practice: Provides an overview of tax practice standards, as well as key provisions in the AICPA's Code of Professional Conduct.
Reviewed April 23, 2018