IRS Approved EA Ethics CPE For CPAs
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While becoming an EA (Enrolled Agent) means most of your journey is over, the need for fulfilling your CE requirements will be there.
Meeting your CE requirements is mandatory for maintaining your EA status throughout your career. As an EA, you’ve to earn 72 CE credits in every three-year reporting period while earning a minimum of 16 CE credits per year.
Among these 16 credits, it’s a must to earn 2 credits in ethics by taking an IRS approved EA ethics course.
If you’re wondering why ethics is so much important in tax practice, continue reading and you’ll find it out yourself soon.
Whether you’re working with clients preparing their tax returns or are offering any type of professional tax advice, you must adhere to the code of conduct namely Circular 230.
While Circular 230 provides complete guidance on how enrolled agents need to maintain ethical standards in their practice along with other standards, it’s quite difficult to go through the document line by line to understand the key principles.
Fortunately, IRS approved EA ethics CPE courses are designed to help the learners understand their ethical responsibilities when they’re preparing clients’ tax returns and representing those in front of the IRS.
By completing IRS approved (EA) enrolled agent ethics courses successfully, you should be able to describe who can practice before the IRS, identify the general scope of EA practice responsibilities, identify specific responsibilities and restrictions that apply to an EA when practicing before the IRS, describe disreputable kinds of conduct, identify a frivolous submission through its characteristics, among others.
Enrolled agents are responsible for ensuring that their clients adhere to the federal and state tax rules while carrying out their ethical responsibilities diligently.
However, when offering professional services, they often need to encounter situations, which could be ethically dubious. One of the most common ethical issues frequently faced by EAs is conflicts of interest.
Conflicts of interest may arise when a tax professional is subject to the standard established by multiple governing frameworks and he/she undertakes a multi-party representation. For instance, the information furnished by one client could reasonably prohibit the EA from representing other clients completely.
This is because disclosure of the information provided by the former might breach the duty of confidentiality of the professional.
The actions of a tax practitioner pertaining to filing amended returns and errors on returns may also trigger ethical issues. As per Circular 230, if a practitioner identifies that the client has made an error or hasn’t adhered to the revenue laws, he/she must inform the client of the consequences of such error or noncompliance.
Additionally, if the error has been made by the practitioner, a conflict of interest might arise concerning filing amended returns. Here, the EA’s interest in making corrections in the return might conflict with that of the client in not filing the amended return.
While the IRS EA cannot force the client to rectify the error, he/she can always consider whether or not to continue the representation.
In every situation in tax practice, EAs must strive to follow the ethical guidelines by analyzing what regulatory standard is applicable to particular conduct before making a firm decision.
While it might seem to be a difficult task, IRS approved EA ethics courses will help you understand the principle rules, responsibilities, and restrictions that apply to your professional activities so that you can make an ethical, lawful decision.
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