Standards of Tax Practice Issues

Office of Professional Responsibility

Tax professionals including CPAs, Tax Attorneys, Enrolled Agents, Enrolled Actuaries, Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents and Appraisers are all held to a higher standard of practice when representing clients before the Internal Revenue Service. The prescribed conduct of these professionals and the standard of practice that each professional is supposed to adhere to are defined in the IRS’s Circular 230. Circular 230 also regulates the professional conduct of law firms, accounting firms, in-house counsel, and other entities.

Tax professionals who conduct their professional or personal affairs (in most circumstances, this means their personal compliance with the tax laws) in an unprofessional manner or in a way that results in violations of the tax laws by the preparer or his clients are subject to discipline by the IRS’s Office of Professional Responsibility (“OPR”), state licensing authorities and, in some circumstances, other private professional associations.

Discipline can take the form of anything from a private reprimand to censure, suspension or the permanent loss of license to practice. Further, the preparer's employer, firm or other related entity also is subject to the penalty if it knew, or reasonably should have known, of the conduct giving rise to the penalty. In some situations individual tax professionals, as well as, the law firms, accounting firms, in-house counsel, and other entities may be susceptible to monetary penalties.

At Thorn Law Group, we are particularly experienced at representing tax professionals, law firms, accounting firms, and other entities. If the IRS, OPR or another licensing authority is considering a penalty or other disciplinary action against you as a professional, contact Kevin E. Thorn at 202 349-4033 right away to discuss your options.

IRS Circular 230 (PDF)

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