Representation of Law Firms, Accounting Firms & Other Entities Before the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility

Over the last few years, Law Firms and Accounting Firms have come under increased scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service and the IRS’s Office of Professional Responsibility (“OPR”). In fact, the new Director of the IRS’s Office of Professional Responsibility has made numerous public statements over the last few months that she believes the best means by which to change tax practitioner misconduct is through disciplining the firms, and will do so with the use of monetary penalties.

In the past, the IRS’s Office of Professional Responsibility did not have jurisdiction over law firms and accounting firms per se, but with the passage of the Jobs Act in 2004, OPR’s jurisdiction was expanded to include the regulation of law firms, accounting firms and other types of entities.

Although most government officials believe it is impossible to change the conduct of a law firm or an accounting firm with the traditional type of sanction, the Jobs Act in 2004, expanded OPR’s authority by permitting it to impose monetary penalties on law firms, accounting firms or other type of entities that employ tax professionals. With the passage of Jobs Act, OPR can seek to impose a monetary penalty either in lieu of or in addition to the traditional sanctions:

  • Reprimand
  • Public Censure
  • Suspension
  • Disbarment

Not only can OPR fine the individual practitioner, but it can also fine the practitioner’s employer, firm or other related entity if the employer, firm or entity knew, or reasonably should have known, of the conduct giving rise to the penalty. However, the penalty shall not exceed the gross income derived (or to be derived) from the conduct giving rise to the penalty.

If your law firm or accounting firm is currently under investigation by the IRS’s Office of Professional Responsibility, let Thorn Law Group help you. Contact Kevin E. Thorn at 202 349-4033 today.

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