Avoiding Ethical Violations in Preparing and Filing Federal Tax Returns

Meeting Standards for Conduct Under Circular 230, NATP, and AICPA

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This teleconference will prepare accountants, advisors and preparers to navigate the ethical requirement standards when preparing and filing federal tax returns. Our panel will offer practical scenarios from their own experiences to demonstrate ethical risks, challenges and responsibilities.


The IRS holds all return preparers responsible for promptly informing clients of errors discovered on returns and the consequences for failing to correct. Accountants and other tax return preparers face a host of ethical dilemmas, such as a client urging them to put baseless or incorrect information on a return.

CPAs must comply with the AICPA's Statement on Standards of Ethics (as well as their state boards), and all registered tax return preparers have been subject to ethical standards of IRS Circular 230 since 2011. The Nat'l Ass'n of Tax Professionals also mandates standards of professional conduct for its members.

CPAs and others preparing federal tax returns face important duties to provide clients accurate advice, protect privacy and confidentiality of sensitive information, maintain professional standards, and explain return decisions to the IRS. They must make decisions with applicable ethical standards in mind.

Listen as our speakers explain how Circular 230, AICPA and NATP standards govern ethical behavior by preparers working on federal income tax returns.



  1. Ethical standards governing preparers of federal returns
    1. Circular 230
    2. Licensing rules for attorneys, CPAs and others
    3. Rules of professional organizations (AICPA (including SSTS), NAEA, NATP, state societies, others)
    4. Federal, state and local tax law penalties
  2. Frequent areas of ethical concern for return preparers
  3. Hypothetical situations and possible solutions


The panel will drill into these and other relevant topics:

  • Material terms of broadly applicable ethical standards such as AICPA SSTS No. 1, Circular 230, and NATP standards of professional conduct.
  • The expanded range of tax practitioners subject to taxpayer reporting ethics under Circular 230—and how the circular covers more advice and opinions by tax professionals.
  • Ethical challenges that confront CPAs and others preparing federal returns—using hypotheticals and offering practical solutions.

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Joe Marchbein
Joe Marchbein
Tax Department Manager
Jack P. Fitter CPA

Mr. Marchbein's experience covers tax planning, research and review, as well as IRS exams and procedures. He...  |  Read More

Annette Nellen
Annette Nellen

San Jose State University

She is a Professor in and Director of the university's Graduate Tax Program. She is a member of the California Bar...  |  Read More

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