Study Guide - Ethics for Tax Preparers

The study guide is provided to guide you through the course material in a step by step format.

Ethics for Tax Preparers is a course designed to meet the ethics continuing education requirements for Enrolled Agents.  This ethics course is NOT acceptable for the ethics requirements for CPAs.

Course material is an online PDF document available immediately upon purchase.

Prerequisite: None

Course level: Basic

Advanced preparation: None

Teaching method: Online study and exam


Chapter 1 –  Tax Return Preparer Responsibilities.


  • Introduction.
  • Chapter Learning Objectives.
  • Tax Return Preparer Scope of Responsibilities.
  • Preparation of Documents.
  • Taxpayer Representation.
  • Best Tax Return Preparer Practices.
  • Client Communication.
  • Establishing Relevant Facts.
  • Providing Client Advice.
  • Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Standards Related to Work Product and Other Papers.
  • Tax Return Standards.
  • Pattern of Conduct a Factor in Determining Nature of Practitioner Actions.
  • Standards Related to Documents, Affidavits and Other Papers.
  • Standards for Advising Clients on Potential Penalties.

Chapter 2 – Practitioner Duties and Restrictions.

  • Introduction.
  • Chapter Learning Objectives.
  • Tax Return Preparer Duties and Restrictions.
  • Solicitation of Business.
  • Advertising and Solicitation Requirements.
  • Professional Fee Information.
  • Disclosure of Responsibility for Costs.
  • Communication of Fee Information.
  • Retention of Communications Containing Fee Information.
  • Improper Associations.
  • Solicitation Case Study.
  • Bob Archibald’s Solicitation Activities.
  • Unauthorized Practice of Law..
  • Unauthorized Practice of Law Case Study.
  • Shirley Connor’s Advice.
  • Responding to IRS Requests for Information.
  • Requested Material not in Practitioner’s Possession.
  • Material Requested Concerning Alleged Practitioner Violation.
  • Interference with an IRS Request for Information.
  • Request for Information Case Study.
  • Bill Whitacre and the IRS Request
  • Knowledge of Client Omissions.
  • Client Omission Case Study.
  • Audrey Wilson’s Client Omission Problem..
  • Requirement for Accuracy.
  • Requirement for Accuracy Case Study.
  • Harry Barnes and the Client’s Inaccurate Answers.
  • Return of Client Records.
  • Nature of Client Records.
  • Request for Return of Records Case Study.
  • Sue Willoughby and the Non-Paying Client
  • Conflicting Interests.
  • Conflict of Interest Case Study.
  • Bob Brown’s Conflict of Interest

Chapter 3 – Sanctions for Regulation Violations.

  • Introduction.
  • Chapter Learning Objectives.
  • Authorized Sanctions for Violation of Regulations.
  • Non-Monetary Sanctions.
  • Censure.
  • Suspension.
  • Disbarment
  • Monetary Sanctions.
  • Amount of Monetary Penalty.
  • Incompetence and Disreputable Conduct

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