The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) last week proposed amending Treasury Department Circular 230, governing tax professionals practicing before the IRS. The proposed amendments are the result of a thorough review of the extensive public comments received in response to an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking relating to the Office of Professional Responsibility in December 2002. A hearing on the proposed regulations is scheduled for Wednesday, June 21, 2006. Comments will be accepted through April 7, 2006.
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The proposed revisions to Circular 230 would affect:
- the definition of practice
- eligibility for enrollment
- unenrolled practice
- rules concerning contingent fees, conflicts of interest, standards with respect to tax returns and document, affidavits and other papers, sanctions, discovery, publicity and appeals
The proposed regulations do not address standards for written tax advice, which were the subject of amendments issued in December 2004 and modified in May 2005. They do, however, replace certain terminology in order conform with terminology used in 18 U.S.C. 207, and 5 C.F.R. parts 2637 and 2641.
Ensuring that tax professionals adhere to professional standards and follow the law is one of the IRS’ top four enforcement goals and the proposed revisions play a critical role in achieving that goal.