The IRS has an Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) said “To be the standard-bearer for integrity in tax practice” and whose mission is to “Interpret and apply the standards of practice for tax professionals in a fair and equitable manner”. Its strategic goals and objectives are to support effective tax administration by ensuring all tax practitioners, tax preparers, and other third parties in the tax system adhere to professional standards and follow the law.
To improve ethical standards for tax professionals and to curb abusive tax avoidance transactions, the Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department issued regulations amending Treasury Department Circular 230.
Circular 230 is applicable to attorneys, accountants and other tax professionals who practice before the IRS. The August, 2011 revisions to Circular 230 provide standards of practice for written advice that reflect current best practices and are intended to restore and maintain public confidence in tax professionals. These revisions ensure that tax professionals do not provide inadequate advice, and increase transparency by requiring tax professionals to make disclosures if the advice is incomplete.
Overseeing enforcement of Circular 230 is the Office of Professional Responsibility. OPR is committed to:
Developing procedures that ensure timely case resolution.
Independent, fair and equitable treatment of all tax practitioners consistent with the principles of due process.
Strengthening partnerships with other parts of the IRS and with external practitioner organizations.
Educating/maintaining tax professionals’ knowledge of relevant Circular 230 provisions.
Developing and implementing proactive strategies for identifying violations of Circular 230
Providing guidance and feedback to field/agency sources regarding essential referral criteria for each relevant Circular 230 provision.
Developing policies and regulations that ensure fair and equitable disposition of Circular 230 cases.
Rendering fair and independent determinations regarding alleged misconduct in violation of Circular 230, Regulations Governing Practice before the Internal Revenue Service.
OPR investigates allegations of misconduct by tax practitioners and enforces the standards of practice in Circular 230.
Tax problems? Tax liens and levies? Wages garnished? Answers to these and other questions – including Circular 230 and OPR – call Mitchell A. Port at (310) 559-5259.