Ethics Checklist for Tax Practitioners

Author: Annette Nellen

CPE Credit:  2 hours for CPAs
2 hours Ethics for EAs and OTRPs
2 hours Ethics for CTEC

Circular 230, professional rules of conduct, Internal Revenue Code compliance rules, and taxpayer and preparer penalties all combine into a lot of information for practitioners to be familiar with.

This presentation explains key rules of conduct relevant to tax practitioners, as well as the most commonly encountered federal tax penalty provisions, in the form of a checklist to help ensure ethical compliance in all aspects of one's tax practice.

The checklist approach will help you see which rules are relevant in the various day-to-day activities in which practitioners engage and how to be compliant. In addition, selected current developments from the courts, Congress, and IRS including the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) will be presented.

Publication Date: October 2018

Designed For
Enrolled Agents and other practitioners looking to either meet their professional ethics continuing education requirements or for an opportunity to review rules of conduct relevant to tax practice.

Topics Covered

  • Ethics review: Terminology, Purpose, and Challenges to ethical behavior and practices
  • Accountant Ethics
  • Serving the Public Interest
  • Purpose of Codes of Conduct and Penalty Regimes
  • How Compliance is Ensured
  • Challenges Facing Tax Practitioners
  • 7‐part tax practice ethics checklist: Overview and selected items from each part
  • Circular 230
  • Due Diligence

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize key rules of conduct relevant to tax practice and how to be compliant
  • Identify rules of conduct and tax penalties to be aware of
  • Recognize wow, when, and where to incorporate them into the foundation and day‐to‐day operation of your tax practice
  • Describe how the rules can be made into a practice tool to help ensure understanding and compliance of the rules
  • Identify challenges facing Tax Practitioners
  • Identify and apply the 7-part tax ethics checklist
  • Recognize how Circular 230 relates to the standards
  • Describe the Discreditable act
  • Describe what the Compliance with the Code of Professional Conduct, as with all standards in an open society, depends primarily upon
  • Identify examples of challenges facing tax practitioners
  • Differentiate Statements on Standards for Tax Services


Instructional Method

NASBA Field of Study
Regulatory Ethics (2 hours)

Program Prerequisites

Advance Preparation

Registration Options
Regular Fee $55.00

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