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Karen Russell: So I see it is the top of the hour. So for those of you just joining us, welcome to today's webinar Practice before the IRS: Circular 230 and the Evolving Demands of Professional Responsibility. We're glad you're joining us today. My name is Karen Russell, and I am the Stakeholder Liaison with the Internal Revenue Service and I will be your moderator for today's webinar. Before we begin excuse me, and the webinar is slated for 120 minutes. So before we begin, if there is anyone in the audience that's with the media, please send an email to the address shown on this slide. Be sure to include your contact information and the news publication you're with our media relations and stakeholder liaison staff will assist you and answer any questions you may have. So as a reminder, this webinar will be recorded and posted to the IRS video portal in a few weeks and the portal is located at And please note, continuing education, credit or certificates of completion are not offered if you view an archived version of our webinars on the IRS video portal. We hope you don't experience any technology issues today but if you do this slide shows helpful tips and reminders. We've posted a technical help document that you can download from the material section on the left side of your screen and it provides the minimum system requirements for viewing this webinar, along with best practices and quick solution. If you have completed and passed your system check and you're still having problems, try one of the following. The first option is close out the screen where you're viewing the webinar and re-launch it, closed down completely. And then the second option is click on the settings on your browser viewing screen and select HLS. You should have received today's PowerPoint and resource document in a reminder email, but if you didn't, we do have that available for you. And you can download these documents by clicking on the materials drop down arrows on the left side of your screen, as shown on this slide. Closed captioning is available for today's presentation. So if you're having difficulty hearing or trouble hearing the audio through your computer speakers, please click the closed captioning drop down arrow located on the left side of your screen. And this feature will be available throughout the webinar. During the presentation, we will take a few breaks to share knowledge-based questions with you. And at those times, a polling feature will pop up on your screen with a question and multiple choice answers.

So you'll select a response that you believe is correct by clicking on the radio button next to the selection and then clicking Submit. Now some of you may not get the polling question, and that might be because you have your pop up blocker on, so please take a moment to disable your pop up blockers so you can get the polling questions and answer the question. If you have a topic specific question today, please submit it by clicking the Ask a Question drop down arrow to reveal the text box, type your question in the text box and then click send. And, as always, we tell you this all the time, please do not enter any sensitive or taxpayer specific information when you're asking a question. Again, welcome and thank you for joining us. Today our topic is Practice before the IRS: Circular 230 and the Evolving Demands of Professional Responsibility.

Our principal speaker is Sharyn Fisk, Director of the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility.

Sharyn was named as OPR director in January 2020. As Director, she is responsible for the IRS's oversight of tax professionals to practice before the IRS as set out in Treasury Circular 230 and Sharyn is joined today by Timothy McCormally, Special Counsel to OPR who joined IRS Office of Chief Counsel in February 2021. And with that, we're going to begin our discussion and Sharyn and Timothy, I will turn it over to you. Sharyn Fisk: Thank you, Karen. Welcome, everyone. Tim and I are pleased to have so many attendees joining us today to learn about the Office of Professional Responsibilities, Circular 230 and practicing before the IRS. In our today's webinar, we're going to have a brief explanation of the statutory background for regulating the practice of representatives before the Treasury Service, explain what it means to practice before the IRS, explore key provisions in Circular 230 that are important to know and how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect some of those responsibilities and provide an introduction to OPR's investigative and disciplinary process. I've also included in the materials helpful resources to assist you in further understanding today's discussion. Now let's start with a brief background regarding the statutory and regulatory authorities involved. And Tim, will you start us off? Timothy McCormally: Thank you, Sharyn. A good place to begin is by noting that this is not a new topic for the Treasury Department. Indeed, Treasury's authority to regulate practitioners predates the creation of the IRS and goes back to shortly after the Civil War. In the 1880s, the federal government was spending a lot of money compensating claims for lost horses and other property.

Yes, horses. The problem was that a lot of the claims were phony and were filed by agents or representatives who are not coincidentally working on a contingent fee basis, often without verifying their facts with their clients. To address the problem, Congress had acted the so called Horse Act, which made it clear in order to protect both the government and the citizens on whose behalf the bogus claims are made that the Treasury Department could regulate agents, attorneys, and other persons representing claimants. Over the ensuing century plus, the statute was amended numerous times and now resides in Section 330 of Title 31 of the US code. An improper or inflated bogus claim for a horse is not identical to a tax return or a claim for refund or to representation of taxpayers under examination. The purpose of the legislation to protect taxpayers and the public fisc is pretty much the same. As I mentioned, the statutory authority to regulate practitioner conduct is not found in Title 26, which is the Internal Revenue Code. Instead, it appears in Title 31, section 330 to be precise, which relates to the Treasury departments and other parts of the federal government, dealing with money and finance.

The placement of Section 330 in Title 31 makes OPR independent from Title 26, which is enforced by other divisions of the IRS. As it currently reads, 31 USC 330 does essentially five things. It authorizes the Treasury to regulate the practice of representatives before the Treasury Department, including the IRS, and specifically to make determinations about, fitness the practice. It authorizes the types of disciplinary action the secretary can take against those representatives who are incompetent, disreputable or who violate the regulations. It authorizes the Secretary to impose a monetary penalty against these individuals, and in certain circumstances, the entities with which the individuals are affiliated. It authorizes the Secretary to regulate certain appraisers. Under the final section, subsection, which was enacted in 2004, it authorizes the Secretary to impose standards for giving certain legal advice. Our program today focuses on 330's authorization to regulate practitioners the practice of persons before the Treasury Department, including the IRS, otherwise known as practitioners, as determinations about their fitness, the practice. In summary, then, Section 330 of Title 31 is the foundational authority for regulating those who practice before the Treasury Department.

Other authorities however, also come into play. Foremost among these is Treasury Circular 230.

Now Circular 230 is not as old as a Horse Act, but it is old. It was first issued in 1921, so it's 100 years old this year. Circular 230 has been revised periodically over the years, with the most recent revision being issued in June 2014. A delegation order and two revenue procedures relating to limited practice for un-enrolled return preparers are also part of the legal authority relating to practicing before the IRS. Section 10.1 of Circular 230 provides that the IRS commissioner should establish the Office of Professional Responsibility or OPR for short.

Sharyn, would you like to cover the core functions and structure of OPR? Sharyn Fisk: Absolutely.

All right. Under the Treasury regulation, the Office of Professional Responsibility has the authority to interpret and administer Circular 230 and our office takes its mission very seriously. Allegations of misconduct involve a practitioner's failure to meet those standards of practice that are in Circular 230 and these failures can be categorized into four broad categories. It is basically failing to meet the standards of practice relating to advising taxpayers on filing positions or transactions, representing taxpayers before the IRS, the practitioners own tax compliance and external misconduct typically involving acts of moral turpitude. As part of our oversight responsibility, OPR is charged with investigating allegations of misconduct, and then ultimately determining those practitioners who conduct fall below the standards set forth in Circular 230. And in fact, Section 10.1(a) of Circular 230 states that the OPR has exclusive responsibility for disciplines, including disciplinary proceedings and the sanctions. Section 330 of Title 31, one that Tim was just discussing, authorizes OPR to censor, suspend or disbar from practice, a practitioner who violates the regulation, who demonstrates disreputable or incompetent conduct. During the investigative and disciplinary process, OPR ensures that practitioners are afforded due process at every depth.

And in case you're curious, we've included here a chart of how OPR is structured. OPR has, as you can see, two separate legal analysis branches. We have our intake branch that processes referrals and complaints. And then we have the enforcement branch, which is where our attorneys investigate and make recommendations for appropriate disciplinary sanctions, where it's the director that makes the final determination on the appropriate disciplinary sanction for a practitioner. And you'll note at the Director's level, we have Senior Counsel and Special Counsel that assists the Director and the Deputy Director, a lot of legal advice going on there.

As Tim mentioned, OPR is guiding regulations set forth in Circular 230 has four subparts. So the Circular has four sub parts. So Subpart A contains provisions regarding individuals who may practice before the IRS. Subpart B specifies various kinds of ethical behavior and the rules of Professional Responsibility Treasury believes are necessary to practice before the IRS and we're going to discuss a lot of these key provisions today. Subpart C, with the sanctions that can be imposed for violations and describes the disreputable and incompetent conduct that gives rise to discipline by OPR. And then last are Subpart D of Circular 230 details how the disciplinary process works to ensure those due process protections, as practitioner is entitled to throughout the disciplinary process. In addition to Circular 230, there are other authorities that are going to come into play in determining whether practitioners should be disciplined. The Internal Revenue Code imposes reporting and other requirements on practitioners to prepare returns and represent taxpayers. Violating these code provisions, not meeting your own tax filing and payment obligations, as well as generally committing an acts of moral turpitude will subject practitioners to discipline under Circular 230 for being disreputable. Practitioners are also subject to the rules governing attorneys and accountants and enrolled agents and appraisals issued by their licensing authorities or by their professional organizations, such as the AICPA or the ABA, or the NAEA. Disciplines under those rules could prompt reciprocal action under Circular 230 by OPR. All right. Now, I think it's time for our first polling question, Karen?

Karen Russell: It sure is Sharyn, so let's get to it. The authority to regulate the practice of representatives of persons before the Department of the Treasury, including the IRS comes from the Internal Revenue Code, a; b, 31 USC Section 330; c, state licensing authorities; or d, Circular 230. Take a moment and click the radio button next to the answer that best answers the question. Okay, so it's the authority to regulate the practice of representatives of persons before the Department of the Treasury, including the IRS comes from where; a, the Internal Revenue Code; b, 31 USC Section 330; c, state licensing authorities; or d, Circular 230. I'm going to give you about three more seconds. Okay, we are going to stop the polling and we will share the correct answer on the next slide. And the correct response is b, 31 USC Section 330.

So let's take a look and see how many of you got that correct. Hopefully everyone turned out their pop up blocker. Okay. 48%. All right, we are going to have to get a little clarification on that. Sharyn, you want to provide a little more detail? Sharyn Fisk: Sure. So, as Tim explained at the beginning, the authority actually comes from Title 31 of the US code as in the Section 330. Now maybe you're confusing it with Circular 230 those contain the regulations, but not the authority to regulate. So that might be where the confusion lies. Karen Russell: Thank you for that very much. Okay. So Tim, it looks like you're going to switch gears and talk about practicing before the IRS. Is that correct? Timothy McCormally: That is correct, Karen. Thank you. Yes, let's explore what it means the practice before the IRS. The statute contemplates that only individuals professionally and ethically fit to represent the interest of taxpayers, claimants and others are eligible to practice before the IRS. So what does it mean, this fitness to practice? The statute requires practitioners to be of good character and good reputation, to have the qualifications to provide a valuable service to clients and to possess the competence to advise and assist clients in presenting their cases. Also, as Sharyn just mentioned, a practitioner's personal tax compliance or general conduct can affect their overall fitness the practice; that is whether or not the practitioner has the requisite character, reputation and competence to represent taxpayers. All that said, despite OPR broad authority under Circular 230l, its mission is not based on foot faults or technicalities; rather, we focus on patterns of misconduct. So let's delve a little bit more deeply into Section 10.2(a)(4), which defines practice before the IRS. The definition is very broad. In fact, note, it specifies all matters administered by the IRS, even if they're not included in Title 26, the Internal Revenue Code.

For example, taxpayers must report their ownership or signature authority over foreign bank accounts that contain more than $10,000, at any one-time during the year under Schedule B of the 1040 and through the filing of an FBAR. The requirement to report foreign bank accounts, however, is not found in the Internal Revenue Code, but rather in Title 31 of the US code. Practice contemplates all matters connected with a presentation to the IRS regarding the taxpayer's rights, liabilities and privileges under any law or regulation administered by the IRS, but practice does not include mere tax return preparation, which was the issue in allowing the IRS case. Accordingly, if you're an un-enrolled preparer who merely prepares tax returns, you're not covered by Circular 230. However, if you engage in representation authorized through the IRS' annual filing season program, established in Revenue Procedure 2014-42 Circular 230 does apply to you. And that's because the AFSP allows for limited representation rights in respect to return preparer's - where return is prepared and signed by an unenrolled return preparer in an examination of a tax return, prepared and signed after 2015. Also, when a tax professional science and submits a Form 2848, the Power of Attorney and Declaration of representative to the IRS, that practitioner is engaging in representation before the IRS. In fact, every time you sign a 2848, you are expressly declaring under penalties of perjury that you are subject to the regulations contained in Circular 230. Now, most of us think of practitioners as someone who represents clients at conferences, hearings or meetings with the IRS as practicing before the IRS, and they do but practice can encompass many other actions. For example, preparing or filing documents to be submitted to the IRS, corresponding or communicating with the IRS and rendering written advice or providing appraisals for tax positions. So what is the universe of persons who generally practice before the IRS and therefore subject to Circular 230? Attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents, enrolled retirement plan agents, enrolled actuaries, preparers possessing an annual filing season program record of completion, and appraisers who submit appraisals supporting tax positions. Karen, how about another polling question? Karen Russell: Sounds good to me. Okay, audience here is our second polling question. Which of the following may practice before the IRS; a, enrolled agent; b, attorneys; c, certified public accountant; or d, all of the above? I'm hoping for 100% accuracy on this one. Which of the following may practice before the IRS; a, enrolled agent; b, attorneys; c, certified public accountant; or d, all of the above?

Remember, click the radio button next to the response that best answers the question. And let's go ahead and close out the polling. And I will share the correct response on the next slide.

Okay, and the correct response is d, Attorney Certified Public Accountants and Enrolled Agents may all practice before the IRS. Let's see how well everybody did. And we've got 99% accuracy.

That is terrific. So, Sharyn, it looks like you're going to cover key provisions of Circular 230.

That's up next. Sharyn Fisk: Yes, it is Karen. Now, we think all the provisions of Circular 230 are important. But our discussion today will focus on those key provisions that practitioners may typically encounter in their practice. These key provisions that we're going to address relate to standards, the pitfalls that arise when practicing, communicating with the IRS, and those involving your own conduct. But before we discuss specific sections of Circular 230 that apply to that day to day practice of practicing before the IRS, I want to mention section 10.33 best practices, which states that tax advisers should provide their clients with the highest quality representation concerning federal tax issues and to do this, through adhering to, best practices in providing advice and in preparing or assisting in the preparation of a submission to the IRS.

Section 10.33 is aspirational. That is a practitioner who fails to comply with section 10.33 will not be subject to discipline under Circular 230 for the failure merely to fail to comply with 10.33. But nevertheless, practitioners and tax professionals are expected to observe best practices to preserve public confidence in the tax system. As we go through other provisions of Circular 230 today, we're going to point out some best practices that can assist you in providing your clients with the highest quality of representation. There are three significant provisions of Circular 230 that stands out and that's why they are significant: those relating to competence, diligence, and standards for preparing returns and other documents for submission to the IRS. Our first section is Section 10.35, and it provides you must be competent to practice before the IRS and this comes straight from the statutory language on what constitute fitness to practice. Competence practice requires the appropriate level of knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation necessary for the matter for which the practitioner has been engaged. You can't merely rely on your tax software program to give you all the answers, you need to understand the underlying tax law applicable to your clients return. Now, none of us are totally competent in all points at all costs, but there are ways of becoming competent or gaining that competence.

Research and educate yourself on a matter, consult with another tax professional who's competent in that matter. Bring in another tax professional who is competent, and the matter and work with them. Attend continuing education classes like you're doing today that expand your knowledge and network with other tax professionals. It's important to recognize when you do not have the knowledge or the understanding to advise a client and you cannot readily become competent in a matter to meet your client's needs, this competency cannot be readily obtained, you may need to retain a consultant or refer your client to somebody who does have that requisite expertise. Now think for example, what if one of your regular clients comes to you for advice on international tax transaction they're considering. Now if you're not familiar with the laws concerning the taxation of international transactions, you could consider retaining an international tax consultant or refer your client to a practitioner that does have that expertise for that matter.

Advising your client on issues you're not competent can result in negative financial consequences to your client and to you. And this is more than an OPR issue. This also can be a malpractice issue. The responsibility of a practitioner is to assess and maintain their own competency to recognize the areas of weaknesses and to ensure they're giving the client the appropriate representations. Competence not only relates to your tax knowledge, but to all aspects of practice, better food supervision of employees, procedures to safeguard client information, and diligence in filing returns, transmitting returns and other information to the client to the IRS or to others involved in that tax matter. For example, think about a practitioner's use of a public Wi-Fi network to transmit files, or adequately supervising subordinates in the office and those that are working remotely, ensuring adherence to the firm's data security plan like keeping those software updated. Having secure passwords on client related file, disabling those smart devices such as your Siri and your Lexus, that can potentially compromise taxpayer confidentiality and other considerations, disruptions that could be caused to your practice such as the COVID pandemic or any other significant event. All of these could adversely affect an assessment of the practitioner's competence, the practice. A second biggie is Section 10.22 diligence as to accuracy. Section 10.22 provides that in practicing before the IRS, a practitioner was exercised due diligence to ensure the accuracy of representation, oral or written, made to the client or the IRS. This includes preparing or proving for submission to the IRS or filing anything that relates to an IRA matters, so think of it; returns, tax forms, documents, affidavits, protests you file, all of those types of matters. Note, I said you have a dual responsibility. You have an obligation to your client to make sure that you're giving them correct and accurate information. You also have an obligation to the IRS, to make sure that the representations you're making on behalf of your client are correct and complete to the best of your knowledge. Due Diligence under Section 10.22 means you must determine the correctness of the matter and make sure you're expressing it correctly to your client and to the Treasury Department. So, what does it mean to exercise due diligence? First, know the material facts by asking questions. You cannot let the client determine what facts are pertinent or significant and which are not. That's your job. You are a tax expert. For example, if a client lists on their tax organizer that they had a $20,000 capital gain, is it really capital gains, maybe the income is subject to depreciation recapture and that's something your client doesn't know anything about. All that income is actually ordinary income. Frame your questions to solicit the relevant information and facts from your client. Make reasonable inquiries that the information you're being given appears incorrect or inconsistent or incomplete then you don't have to audit your client but you can't ignore the implications of other information you know, you've been given, whether by a client or by someone else, and determine which facts relate to and are actually material for the tax matter. Now, our second thing for due diligence is know the applicable legal authorities for the tax matter. If you aren't familiar with the applicable law, educate yourself on it or find that expert who you can reasonably rely and you noticed how this due diligence provision implicates that competency rule we just discussed. And, last, apply the material facts to the applicable legal authority. Now sometimes the application of the law to your clients with facts results in the conclusion your client is not going to like or something is not deductible or income is taxable. Your due diligence obligation is to give the client the plain truth of the matter and applying those relevant facts to the applicable law comes into play two times in a tax matter. Pre-transaction, where your client may have come to you in advance and asked you for advice, in which case you're able to offer tax favorable options. And then there's post transaction where the client comes to you after the facts and the facts are set, there's no rewriting history, in which case, you may have to tell the client that the tax treatment they're expecting is not going to work and explain why. Well under Section 10.34 a Circular 230, there's a safe harbor to practitioners and it states practitioners may rely in good faith without verification on client information. Now despite the Safe Harbor, you're still required to make reasonable inquiries, if the information your client gives you appears to be incorrect, inconsistent or incomplete, and you are still to consider the implications of the information you received or information you personally know. Basically, you can't be willfully blind. Sometimes your client does not give you all the relevant facts and this can be done by accident, or this can be done purposely. And the information you've gathered from your client doesn't appear to be inconsistent or incomplete or incorrect. In which case, you have met your due diligence duties under Circular 230. I'll give you an example. Let's say a taxpayer, a US citizen, receives an inheritance upon the death of their mother who was also a US citizen. The inheritance includes over $10,000 held in a foreign bank account. If you recall earlier, Tim mentioned the FBAR reporting requirements. That same year, the taxpayer meets with their CPA to have their federal returns prepared. And as part of the due diligence, the CPA reviews the clients completed tax organizer and asked if there's been any changes throughout the year. And the client says, yes, I inherited something and I wonder if that inheritance needs to be reported on my return. But the client doesn't say doesn't mention that the cash is held in a foreign bank account. And they're not being tax savvy, the client doesn't know that this is an important fact. And the CPA being knowledgeable on inheritances informs the client that the inheritance from their mother, a US citizen, does not need to be reported on the client's return. Now, giving this advice, the CPA did not know and had no reason to know that the inherited cash was held in the foreign bank account, which would trigger that reporting obligation on the client Schedule B.

So although there has been an error and all the client's federal return, assuming that the CPA prepared it and did not report that foreign bank account on Schedule B, there's no willful blindness on the part of the CPA. The CPA had exercised their due diligence in asking questions of the client and the client was not being deceitful. So there is no Circular 230 violations in this example. There is another safe harbor in Section 10.34 regarding reliance on another's work product and this is something that routinely happens in practice, right. You rely on a colleagues work or subordinates work product or an expert's work product and you will be deemed to have exercise due diligence, if you have used reasonable care in selecting, engaging, supervising, training, overseeing, or evaluating that person's work. Now, reasonable care, it can be facts and circumstances test that takes into consideration your reliance on the other person's work and who that other person is. Was it an employee or was it another tax professional or a third party? Be able to rely on your employee's work product, you need to use repair in selecting and hiring them, right, and go back to that competency and making sure they're properly trained so that they know what they're supposed to be doing, and then making sure they know about their obligations under Circular 230. At a minimum, at least on a periodic basis, you need to evaluate their performance, ensure that they continue to correctly understand what they're doing and they're not making mistakes to get your entire firm in trouble or have a problem with Circular 230. We're going to discuss this section 10.36, which relates to procedures to ensure compliance a little later on. To rely on the work product of another tax professional or other third party, the basic rule is you may rely unless you have a reason to question it. You have if you have that information that suggests a third party document is unreliable, then you need to ask questions before you can satisfy your due diligence obligations. Now, there is no Circular 230 requirement regarding documenting the information you received from clients and others or the advice you provide to your clients. But I would say it's a best practice to maintain a written record of such communications. That documentation can assist during an IRS examination or if it happens, an alleged malpractice claim. Alright, Tim, how about you take our last and final biggie? Timothy McCormally: Hey, thanks, Sharyn, would be happy to. The final biggie and we call them biggies because they're involved in an outsized number of referrals that we receive and that's section 10.34(a), which covers the standards for tax return preparation, return advice, and the submission of other documents. Now Sharyn has mentioned 10.34(a) in our prior discussion, and we'll see how all of these biggies are in fact interrelated. This section applies when you assist or advise clients are reporting items on their tax return. 10.34(a) states that you made file a return that lacks a reasonable basis or advises taking a position on tax returns that lacks a reasonable basis. So what is reasonable basis? This concept in Section 10.34 is tied to the same concept of reasonable basis in code Section 6662, the Accuracy Related Penalty. In general, a reasonable basis means that there is a greater than 25% possibility of success with the position taken on the return would be sustained if challenged. Moreover, if there is only a reasonable basis for the position, that position must be disclosed on IRS Form 8275 or 8275(a).

10.34(a) also provides that you may not sign or advise a position on a return that is unreasonable. The concept of unreasonable in 10.34(a) is tied to the term in code Section 6694, the preparer penalty, which defines an unreasonable position as one that lacks substantial authority, and while perhaps having a reasonable basis is undisclosed. Lastly, 10.34(a) states that you may not sign or advise with respect to a tax return position that is a willful attempt to understate liability, either by you or your client, or that is reckless or intentional disregard of rules and regulations. As with the general due diligence requirements in 10.22, this action requires that you understand what the applicable law is with respect to your clients rather than facts. In this context, patterns are always going to matter. A single mistake is not what OPR looks for when considering fitness to practice under Circular 230 but numerous errors, multiple demonstrations of recklessness, disregard of rules and regulations or frequent displays of incompetence are going to get our attention. The various return standards are set forth graphically on this slide, from lowest to highest they are as follows. Reasonable basis means a 25% possibility of success; realistic possibility of success means 33.33%. Substantial authority means somewhere between 40% and 50%. And more likely than not means more than 50%. The following slide summarizes the different types of primary authorities that should be taken into account into determining whether a position meets the requisite standard. Moving on from positions on tax returns, Subsection B of 10.34 set forth the due diligence standards for documents and other papers. When taking positions on documents that are submitted to the IRS, you may not advise a frivolous position. You also may not advise making a submission that would be frivolous, or where the submission is intended to the delay tax administration. For example, making a submission for the sole purpose of stopping collection potentially could be a violation of 10.34(b). Say your client has an outstanding tax liability, but they don't have the funds to pay the liability in full. Even though the client acknowledges that they are personally liable for the outstanding tax debt, you advise them to complete and submit a Form 14039, the Identity Theft Affidavit, claiming that the tax liability is the result of identity theft in order to put a hold on the collection action. Your client follows your advice and completes the form and sends it to the IRS. You have violated 10.34(b) by advising a client to make a frivolous claim for the purpose of impeding tax administration. And it's irrelevant that you personally did not complete the Form or submit it to the IRS. Literally, you may not advise making a submission that either contains or omits information that demonstrates an intentional disregard of the rules and regulation, for example, in collection matters submitting financial statements that you know omit some of your client's assets. Finally, it's your obligation under 10.34 to advise your client a penalty exposure and the opportunity to avoid the penalty by making a disclosure on the tax return. The disclosure can be made by attaching form 8275 Disclosure Statement or Form 8275-R Regulation Disclosure Statement to the Return. Sharyn, do you want to cover 10.37? Sharyn Fisk: I would love to cover 10.37. Right, Section 10.37 states that when you're giving tax advice, you must make reasonable efforts to determine the relevant facts, reasonable consider those relevant facts and make reasonable factual and legal assumptions in situations where the facts are unknown. Sounding familiar, right? We talked about this with due diligence. It's reasonable for you to rely on representations or statements or agreements or anything else given to you or told to you if you know or should know that the information is based on correct, complete and consistent representations or assumptions. You also may not take into consideration the audit lottery in your advice. That is you can't give advice based on the assumption that the return will not be examined by the IRS or if it is examined that the issue won't be noticed. It's a best practice to document the information you relied upon for your written advice. This record can assist during an IRS examination, if the client later becomes incapacitated or passes away, the business may change hands or employees, as I mentioned, malpractice considerations or other matters. Karen Russell: Sharyn, I'm sorry to interrupt but I was wondering, can you explain what you mean by the audit lottery? Some of our attendees today may not know what that means. Sharyn Fisk: Yes, the audit lottery is a common expression that stands for the misconception that of the millions of returns filed a year the IRS only audits a small percentage to a non-compliant taxpayers return can be hidden amongst those millions of compliant taxpayer's returns. Yeah, I can point out this belief is incorrect. The IRS uses methods such as modeling, data analytics and relational analytics that are to target our examination activities as precisely as we can to find those non-compliant taxpayers. Karen Russell: Got it. So the takeaway here is compliance is the key. Thank you for that clarification. And let's go ahead and finish up with section 10.37.

Sharyn Fisk: Will do. All right, with respect to written advice, section 10.37 provides that you may rely on the advice of others, if the advice is reasonable and your reliance is in good faith considering all the facts and circumstances. Alright, Karen, I'm actually going to stop here for another poll question. Karen Russell: I'm up again. Okay. All right. So here's our next polling question. It's our third one of the day. So in which way can a practitioner meet the competence requirements under Section 10.35; a, research and education; b, having the requisite tax knowledge and experience; c, consulting with another tax professional who is an expert on the tax matter or d, all of the above? I have high hopes for the audience on this one. I'll read the question again. In which way can a practitioner meet the competence requirements under Section 10.35; a, research and education; b, having the requisite tax knowledge and experience; c, consulting with another tax professional who is an expert on the tax matter or d, all of the above? Click the radio button that best answers the question. And we are going to go ahead and stop the polling now and share the correct answer on the next slide. And the correct response is D, all of the above. A practitioner meets the competence requirement under Section 10.35 through research and education, already possessing the required tax knowledge and experience and consulting with another tax professional who is an expert. So let's see what we've got and we have 98% accuracy. That's terrific. You know what, Sharyn, I think that since we got such a high response of correct accuracy rate, should we turn to common practitioner pitfalls? Sharyn Fisk: Yes, they got the competency, let's get to our next one. All right, the pitfalls are those common problems that can trip up even a diligence practitioner. So, our first pitfall involves Section 10.21 and that deals with that sensitive topic, your duty regarding the client's error or omission. And this section is often misunderstood. If you learn that a client has not complied with the Internal Revenue Code or made an error or an omission from and they returned other documents submitted to the IRS; under Circular 230, you have a duty to promptly inform the client of a non-compliance error or mission and advise the client about the consequences under the code and regulation of that non-compliance error or omission of best practice would require.

And that kind of also required under the rules governing CPAs and attorneys would also include advising the client about what to do about the non-compliance error or omission. CPAs, for example, are required under the AICPA rules to recommend a correction of that error. Under Circular 230, you do not have a duty to file admitted return or other corrected document with the IRS. In fact, if you did so without your client's permission and consent, it would expose malpractice issue and potentially discipline from the state bar or county board for violating your duty of confidentiality. For example, let's say a new client asks you to prepare their 2020 return. As part of your regular due diligence, you reviewed the new client's previously filed return. And in this review, you discover that there's an error in the calculation of a net operating loss in 2018 and this error is going to flow through and affect the client's NOL carry forward to 2019 and leave no NOL carry forward to 2025, but with the client thinks they have.

Under Section 10.21, you have a duty to properly inform your new client of the error and advise the client about the consequences of such error. For example, audit exposure, penalties, liabilities interest on potential liabilities. As a best practice, you should advise your new client on how to fix this error. In this case, amend the 2018 return and the 2019 return to report the correct NOL. Now, what happens if your new client wants you to use that incorrect NOL carry forward amount on your 2020 return? Your due diligence responsibility under Circular 230 prevents you from preparing a return you know is incorrect, you cannot knowingly perpetuate the non-compliant error or omission. Now, another pitfall of Section 10.29, which addresses conflicts of interest. Conflicts often occur when representing related taxpayers. For example, you may have client married taxpayers, you may have clients that is the partnership and the partner or corporation and its shareholders or officers. Conflicts can also arise when there's a significant risk that your representation of one client will be materially limited by your representation of another client or a former client, your responsibility to a third party such as a fiduciary or beneficiary, there's somebody you owe a contractual or legal obligation to or your own personal interest. And for that one, I want to give an example. Conflict of Interest can arise when a practitioner promotes a transaction, prepares the return reporting that transaction and defends the taxpayer during an IRS examination of the transaction. In this example, the practitioner's interest may be adverse to the client, and that the practitioner may want to continue to dispute that transaction to avoid a preparer penalty or malpractice lawsuits. Karen Russell: Sharyn, it's me again. I have a question about that. Are you saying that the practitioner would be trying to get the IRS to agree to their position, not because it was a valid tax position but because they're afraid if they lose the case, the IRS might assert a penalty against tax professional, or the taxpayer might be able to sue that tax professional? Sharyn Fisk: That is correct. In this situation, a practitioner maybe looking after their own interests more than their client's interests. The practitioner might be extending the dispute to avoid losing the case for as long as possible to put off having to return that transaction fee or being subject to a malpractice claim. And all of this is to the detriment of the client who's paying the practitioner to dispute the transaction with the IRS, incurring those accrued interest and possibly penalties for an invalid tax position that could have been resolved long ago. Karen Russell: Right. So then at the root of this is what you have been saying throughout this, practitioners must always have their client's best interest at heart and avoid conflicts of interest or potential conflicts of interest at all costs. Sharyn Fisk: Yes. Karen Russell: Okay, good. So let's keep going. Sharyn Fisk: Okay. I am and we're still in conflict. All right. So once you've figured out whether conflict exists, you must determine whether you reasonably believe you can provide competent, diligent representation to each affected client. And if you cannot word, say, the conflict is legally prohibited, you must withdraw from representation. If you believe that despite the conflict, you can provide that competent, diligent representation to each affected client, you must obtain in writing a waiver for each affected client at the time the conflict is nil and this documentation must occur within 30 days of when the conflict arises. And that's to ensure that the clients are immediately informed of a potential conflict and that their informed consent is received before that representation proceeds further. Getting that written conflict waiver after the tax matter concludes or when the IRS comes knocking on the door, or when the client raises the issue of a conflict is not considered timely. So, you need to get those written conflict waivers within 30 days and retain the written conflict waivers for three years after whatever engagement that you were involved in, has ended. And last, the waivers must be produced to the IRS when requested. Recognizing whether a conflict of interest exists or whether you can provide competent, diligent representation to each effective client can be tricky, so don't be afraid to seek help from various source sources that is your state licensing authority, your malpractice carrier or an objective knowledgeable third party. Karen, I suggest we pause for another polling question while all of this pitfall information is fresh in everyone's minds.

Karen Russell: That is an excellent idea, Sharyn. So audience, I think you would agree and here is our fourth polling question. In exercising your due diligence responsibilities, you discover your new client has omitted income on a prior year's Form 1040. Under Circular 230, you are required to a, report the unreported income to the IRS; b, tell the client about the error, but only if the IRS sends an audit letter; c, promptly inform your client of the unreported income and advise the client of the consequences under the code and regulations for that error; or d, do nothing so as not to upset your new client. Again, the question is in exercising your due diligence responsibilities, you discover your new client has omitted income on a prior year's Form 1040. Under Circular 230, you are required to a, report the unreported income to the IRS; b, tell the client about the error, but only if the IRS sends an audit letter; c, promptly inform your client of the unreported income and advise the client of the consequences under the code and regulations for that error; or d, do nothing so as not to upset your new client. So take a moment and click the radio button that best answers the question. And we are going to stop the polling now and share the correct answer on the next slide. And the correct response is C, promptly inform your client of the unreported income and advise the client of the consequences under the code and regulations for that error. And let's see how everyone did. Nice. You guys are on the ball man, 97% accuracy rate. That is terrific. Sharyn Fisk: Excellent. Karen Russell: I know right. Okay, Tim, I see that you're going to start us on the business side of practicing.

Timothy McCormally: Correct. Most people who are in the tax business do it not just because they love tax, but because they want to have a successful business. So we're going to turn the several provisions of Circular 230 that directly affect the business side of being a tax practitioner and running a business, either as a solo practitioner, or in a firm of many practitioners. Sharyn referred to this provision a little bit earlier, 10.36, which is captioned Procedures to Ensure Compliance. Under 10.36, anyone in a firm or business who has or shares the principle authority or responsibility for overseeing the firm's federal tax practice that involves Circular 230 matters must take reasonable steps to ensure that everyone is engaged in that firm is aware of their duties and responsibilities under Circular 230 and is sufficiently qualified to satisfy that. The responsible person and if the firm doesn't identify one, OPR is authorized to do it for them. The responsible person is subject to discipline if they fail to take reasonable steps to ensure that the Circular and obligations are known to employees and are properly followed. For example, if a firm fails to ensure that its partner of an employee's keep up to date, something especially important but difficult in an age of non-stop legislative and regulatory change, the responsible person can be held accountable under 10.36. Thus if someone else in the firm, an employee, an associate, an independent contractor violates Circular 230 competence rules, for example, they don't know the details of the Advanced Child Care Credit or something like that, that individual himself or herself who violated Circular 230 would be responsible for their own misconduct, and they would receive appropriate discipline for the violation. But importantly, under 10.36, the individual who should have assumed responsibility, should have assumed the oversight role, but didn't follow through will also be looked at to determine whether there should be some level of culpability and sanction. There is no requirement that the responsible person have actual knowledge of the misconduct. Even when the person with principal authority for compliance makes, reasonable steps, they can be held accountable if a violation of Circular 230 occurs and the individual responsible for oversight fails to take steps to stop violations that they know about, or should know about. Karen Russell: Hi, Tim. I wanted to know if you could discuss more about the reasonable steps a firm needs to take to make sure that people in their firm understand the Circular 230 and that return preparers aren't engaging in misconduct. Timothy McCormally: Yeah. Excellent question, Karen. Reasonable steps that a firm should take to make sure its employees understand their obligations under Section 230 include creating a firm policy on it hearing to the Circular and providing an environment that supports ethical behavior. For example, raising questions when issues arise, putting controls in place to ensure oversight and review of employees and their work products, setting procedures and policies regarding the assignment of work and workload to make certain that matters are being handled by employees who have both the competency and the bandwidth to do the work and have the time to do it in a thorough and complete to do a thorough and complete job, taking prompt and effective remedial action regarding failures to adhere to the Circular, and supporting membership and continuing education so that employees can gain and maintain the knowledge needed to be competent advisors and to understand their ethical obligations. The next provision we want to cover is 10.27 relating to fees. Sharyn? Sharyn Fisk: Yes, I know every practitioner, or there are very few practitioners out there who aren't interested in getting paid for their hard work.

The Section 10.27 of Circular 230 addresses how practitioners can set their fees and ensuring clarity on what they will charge their clients. A practitioner cannot charge an unreasonable, excessive or grossly unfair fee, nor can they charge a high fee for bad advice. Your fee structure, however, can take into account the complexity of a return in determining the fee.

However, that fee should not be based on a sliding scale on how much your clients refund amount is. Contingency fees can only be charged in limited situations. Those situations in which a contingency fee can be charged include in connection with an IRS examination or challenge to original return, amended return or refund claim, for services rendered in connection with the determination of statutory interest or penalty assessed by the IRS or for services in connection with any judiciary proceeding arising under the code, like for example, tax court. Contingency fees are limited as such, because in some instances, basically a contingency fee can prompt a practitioner to recommend an overly aggressive position to the client and this is going to go back to that practitioner self-interest issue under the conflict of interest rules we just finished discussing. Our next provision under this section is 10.28, which related to the return of client's records. A client must be provided with reasonable access to review and copy those records the client needs to comply with any federal tax obligations. Also, be sure to exercise your due diligence regarding your client's records if you are closing down or selling a business or practitioners become incapacitated or is passed away. Meaning don't dump your clients records in the trash, especially those records involving taxpayers personally identifiable information or give client files away to another tax professional without your client's expressed permission.

Now subject to state law restrictions, a practitioner is entitled to withhold from the client any return, claim for refund schedule, affidavit or appraisal or any other documents prepared by the practitioner, if it's being withheld for non-payment of fee. However, the client needs to have sorry, however the practitioner needs to return those records that must be attach to the taxpayers return. Section 10.34 is addressing practitioner solicitation for business. And it provides that a practitioner cannot use any form of public communication or private solicitation that contains false, fraudulent or deceptive statements or claims. For example, a practitioner cannot claim they can obtain a better result in some other tax professional because of a personal relationship with their IRS agent, or because of being a prior employee of the IRS. In addition, a practitioner must clearly identify invited written or oral solicitations and identify the source of the information used in choosing the recipient to get that solicitation. And if it's prohibited under state or federal law, from sending uninvited solicitations to potential clients, Circular 230 likewise is going to bar such a practice. Now with respect to solicitation that may mention your fee, Section 10.35 states that a practitioner might communicate fee information in professional listing like print media, mailings, email, web pages, hand delivered flyers, radio or television ads, or any other solicitation method. However, any statement of fee information must include a statement disclosing whether the client will be responsible for costs, such as phone charges, copy charges, filing fees, those kinds of items. In addition, every practitioner changes their rate, they must charge no more than published rates for at least 30 days after the last publication of that fee schedule. And this is our final topic on the business of practicing and I want it is 10.31. And this is a very this section is very clear regarding the negotiation of taxpayer's check. You cannot negotiate your client's check from the IRS. You may not cash, endorse, deposit into an account that you control with an electronic transfer, do anything comparable with a check that's in your client's name as a taxpayer, it's a return from the US Treasury and it does not matter if your client says it's okay for you to do it.

Negotiation of a taxpayer's check is not only a Circular 230 violations but also violation under the code, subjecting you to a penalty under Section 6695(f). All right, Tim, why don't you take our next topic? Timothy McCormally: Thanks, Sharyn. Yeah, let's turn to a couple of provisions relating to how practitioners must interact with the IRS, say, during an examination. Section 10.20 of Circular 230 addresses a practitioner's duty to provide information. A practitioner must not interfere with any IRS attempt to obtain information, unless in good faith, the practitioner believes the information is privileged. And while there are several types of privileges, the most common privileges sorted in a matter before the IRS is that attorney client privilege and the analogous federally authorized practitioner privilege under Code Section 7525.

If you're unsure whether a privilege applies, you should probably consult an attorney. What if neither the client nor the practitioner possesses the information sought? Under 10.20, a practitioner must properly inform the IRS of that fact and provide any information regarding who may have possession of the requested information. However, the practitioner is not required to make inquiries of anyone other than the client, or to verify information provided by the client regarding the person or persons in possession of requested information. A practitioner cannot advise a client to submit any document to the IRS that's frivolous or contains or omits information in a matter demonstrating an intentional disregard of a rule or regulation. However, it is allowable to advise a client to submit a document that disregards a rule or regulation, if the submission of that document evidence is a good faith challenge to the rule and regulation.

Karen Russell: Timothy, I'm wondering, I have a two part question for you based on this information that you just covered. So I think it is very interesting that the practitioner should inform the IRS they don't have the information. When the IRS employee knows the reason the practitioner didn't supply it, is because they don't have it, that is completely different from refusing to comply with an information document requests, right? Timothy McCormally: Absolutely. For, like, the IRS employee whether the taxpayer has possession of the document is very important; for the taxpayer, it's relevant to whether the code and rule should be applied to allow reasonable estimates from missing information, whether penalties might be appropriate, or even the level of taxpayers' cooperation, which could become very important in a potential criminal referral, or investigation. For the practitioner, responding to the request displays due diligence and efforts to meet the standards under Circular 230 but it gives you a best practice to follow. When responding to an IVR, you may want to write to the best of the taxpayer's knowledge they are not in the possession of the documents requested. This is because sometimes the taxpayer later finds the requested information and including that caveat prevents an unintended misstatement. Karen Russell: That is a terrific best practice. So now, how about a situation where a document evidences a good faith challenge to a rule or regulation? Tim, do you have an example of that? Can you share? Timothy McCormally: Sure, I do. Typically, when new laws are enacted, they don't come with a lot of guidance. It's up to the Treasury and the IRS to draft regulations and issue revenue rulings or revenue procedures that the flesh out the statute. Sometimes practitioners really believe in good faith that the guidance that has been issued is

incorrect or goes beyond what Congress intended or perhaps even that the code provision is unconstitutional. In these cases, practitioners made advise their client to take a position that the practitioner really believes is correct with the intent to address the disagreement with the IRS, say, during the audit. Some of these matters ultimately end up in litigation with the courts deciding the issue. Just remember, a practitioner must have a reasonable belief made in good faith that the advice they are giving is correct. Karen Russell: Okay, so in a nutshell, for practitioners to meet this standard, their efforts for this demonstrate reasonable steps were taken to ensure their actions were appropriate, and information provided to the IRS is correct.

And if challenging a rule or regulation, practitioners have to have a reasonable belief made in good faith that the advice they're giving is accurate. And a protected practitioner can be wrong, but still look conducted the due diligence required under Circular 230. Did I get that right?

Timothy McCormally: Yes, you did. You've been paying attention. Karen Russell: Great. Do you want to introduce the next provisions we're going to be discussing? Timothy McCormally: I'll be happy to. The next provision is section 10.23, which provides an a practitioner may not unreasonably delay the prompt disposition of any matter before the IRS, ignoring IRS questions for documents or other information, or, as just mentioned, raising questionable claims of privilege. There are examples of this. What is unreasonable, of course, is often a matter of opinion. So it's important for the practitioner to document why their response is delayed. Sharyn, do you want to flip over and cover the next topic on personal conduct? Sharyn Fisk: Yeah, I will. So our next topic is, as Tim mentioned, is Section 10.51 relating to practitioner's incompetence and disreputable conduct. Section A of Section 10 excuse me, Subsection A of Section 10.51 lists 18 types of disreputable conduct to bear upon a practitioner's fitness to practice. Disreputable conduct under 10.51(a) ranges from a conviction of any criminal offense under the federal tax laws, to convictions of criminal offenses involving dishonesty or breach of trust or any conduct that renders that practitioner unfit to practice to disbarment or suspension from practice as an attorney or CPA. So we're going to cover a few specific types of disreputable conduct that we typically see in OPR. First is section 10.51(a)(4) and this prohibits a practitioner from giving false or misleading information or participating in any way in giving false or misleading information to the Department of Treasury for any officer employee or to any tribunal authorized to pass on federal tax law matters. This covers basically anything you're going to submit to the IRS, right, your testimonies, affidavits, declarations, tax returns and other forms, financial statements, protest, even the applications you file with the IRS such as your PTIN application or enrollment application. Common compliance violations we see an OPR follow under 10.51(a)(6), which involves the failure to timely file a timely failure to file or timely file your personal federal income tax returns and this can cover a failure over successive years, it can cover balances due, how late were those filings, as well as a failure to timely file business returns or employment tax returns if that is within your responsibilities such as your firm's returns or your business returns. And again, we're going to look at successive years, outstanding balances, do we have a trust fund recovery penalty issue and also our last one is evasion or attempted evasion of an assessment or payment of federal tax. That's the failure to disclose assets on relevant IRS Form, disposal of assets while failing to pay taxes, closing entities and forming new entities for the purpose of evasion of payment of tax. So, we've talked before and it's relevant here as well, patterns are important. Frequent tax non-compliance is going to get our attention, while the occasional foot fault will not. Section 10.51(a)(7) identifies as disreputable conduct or incompetent conduct by practitioners willful assistance, in some way counseling or encouraging or suggesting to a client or even a prospective client, an illegal plan to evade federal taxes or the payment of taxes or violation of any federal tax law. We see this type of misconduct arising with respect to collection matters, advising clients to hide assets, transfer assets away for less than full value or to evade collection by the IRS, omitting assets on filings as well as the non-filing of returns and taking frivolous return positions. Now, been a while since we had a polling question, so I'm going to break here. Karen, we have another polling question. Karen Russell: We certainly do. Okay, this is our fifth and final polling question. So, which of the following would be considered disreputable conduct under Section 10.51 of Circular 230; a, state criminal conviction for a crime involving dishonesty; b, giving false or misleading information to the IRS; c, advising a client on how to evade the collection of the federal tax liability; or d, all of the above? And this is our fifth and final question.

Hopefully we will get 100% on this. Which of the following would be considered disreputable conduct under Section 10.51 of Circular 230; a, state criminal conviction for a crime involving dishonesty; b, giving false or misleading information to the IRS; c, advising a client on how to evade the collection of the federal tax liability; or d, all of the above? Again, take a minute and review this question then click the radio button, you believe answers this question.

Okey-dokey, let's go ahead and close out the polling and we will share the correct answer on the next slide. And the correct response is D, all of the above. And I see that 98% of you got that correct. That is terrific. Okay, Sharyn, it looks like you're going to cover what happens next when a referral is made to OPR. Sharyn Fisk: Yes, we are. And this is part we're going to discuss is in Subpart C and D of Circular 230. The Subpart C addresses sanctions for violating the regulations under Circular 230. And within Subpart C Section 10.50 authorizes the sanctioning of practitioners. However, built into the procedure is a lot of due process for that practitioner and I've mentioned this before. Petitioners have many opportunities to explain their conduct, we in OPR will listen potential sanctions include disbarment, censure, suspension, and even monetary penalty. And I'm going to emphasize, we are concerned with reckless, gross misconduct with respect to the provisions of Circular 230, not the occasional foot fault by a practitioner. Now we get referrals and complaints from many sources in OPR. Our referrals come in from our IRS employees, those are revenue agents, revenue officers, settlement officers, appeals officers, etc. In fact, Section 10.53 of Circular 230 makes it mandatory for IRS personnel to make a referral to OPR whenever an employee suspects that there's been a violation of the Circular. We also get information about convictions and civil injunctions from IRS criminal investigations and the Department of Justice. And we receive information on disciplinary actions taken by state bars, Boards of Accountancy and the US Tax Court. Complaints come in from current clients, former clients of a practitioner, the practitioner's peers, former or current employees, business callings, broad group. Also, it's important for practitioners to realize that when the OPR receives a referral, we'll check the practitioner's personal tax compliance, to make sure that the practitioner is filed their personal federal tax returns and those returns for any entity for which the practitioner has some control and responsibility for filing this return and whether both have paid their taxes or are making that effort to pay an outstanding tax liability. Karen Russell: Sharyn, I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit more about personal non-compliance. I've got two questions. Do practitioners have time to get compliant? And the second question is if they owe money that are in an installment agreement, is that okay? Sharyn Fisk: Yes, yes, practitioners will have time to get compliant if they're being diligent about doing so. We're not going to wait years for a practitioner to get their missing returns filed.

When we raise a non-compliance matter with a practitioner, it's typically because there's several years of failure to file return. And again, we don't look for the occasional misstep, which is one delinquent return. We understand sometimes things happen. But a pattern of filing delinquent returns, that's going to get our attention. If a practitioner is unable to pay an outstanding tax liability, but then an installment arrangement with the IRS, on that basis alone, the practitioner is not in violation of Circular 230, but a practitioner on an installment arrangement, who fails to adhere to that installment arrangement that will get our attention Those practitioners on installment arrangements are meeting their Circular 230 responsibilities for due diligence and standard of care. Again, if that practitioner is not making any real effort to pay an outstanding tax liability, so we're going to be focusing our efforts on. Karen Russell: Okay. So then the best suggestion here is for practitioners to file and pay timely, and consider making estimated payments to avoid any sort of shortages, things like that. Sharyn Fisk: Absolutely. Avoid the problem. Karen Russell: Avoid it altogether. Yes, exactly. So let's go ahead and continue with the OPR referral sources and I know that you're up on with that, too, Sharyn. Sharyn Fisk: Yes, yes. So when the IRS field agent imposes certain penalties on a practitioner, it's mandatory for that IRS field agent to make a referral to OPR. And so these penalties include, as you can see on the slide section, IRC section 6694 and 6700, as well as 7407 and 7408; but also, when other penalties are imposed on a taxpayer or in a practitioner that may lead an IRA field agent to make a referral to OPR. For example, penalties for failure to give a copy of a return to the client or negotiating that client's refund check. And then there's other examples where the imposition of a penalty, such as reasonable cause defense may cause a referral to OPR reasonable cause offence on the basis that you relied on your tax professional, such as the taxpayer has been hit with a 6662 penalty and says, I shouldn't be hit with this penalty, I reasonably relied on my tax professional. And considering the taxpayers reasonable cause defense, the revenue agent may look at that practitioner's conduct and the level and competency the advice they provided to the client. Once we get that referral in OPR, we first determine whether we have jurisdiction over the tax professional that is, is the tax practitioner practicing before the IRS. Operator's investigation generally begins after conclusion of an examination or appeal or other enforcement action in the case. So OPR does not influence or generally participate in ongoing IRS enforcement activities. But while during those activities, IRF personnel may consult with OPR about practitioner potential practitioner's misconduct. IRF personnel must not threaten an OPR referral during enforcement activity. Doing so is going to trigger an agency created conflict of interest between the practitioner and the client and the taxpayer. And you know, we don't like conflicts of interest in OPR. In conducting investigations, the IRS is going to follow the relevant leads to determine the facts regarding issue raised in the referral or the complaint. And this can include collecting documents, speaking to the referent, obtaining affidavits or other statements. We do searches of internal and external databases, review of the taxpayer's case file documents, interview witnesses with direct knowledge and request information issued to the practitioner and third party. And if we conclude there may be an actionable violation of Circular 230, we're going to issue what's called an allegation letter that replaces the relevant facts and identifies the acts omissions that appear to be violations of specific Circular 230 provision. That allegation letter provides the practitioner an opportunity to address the issues raised in the referral or uncovered by us in the early stages of our consideration of a case, the practitioner can elect not to respond to that allegation. But generally it's not advisable. A practitioner's response to these early inquiries assists both parties and resolving the case earlier. And in many cases, after receiving the allegation letter, the practitioner acknowledges the accuracy of the facts identified in the letter, and that they have violated Circular 230. And many of these cases are settled at this point with a mutually agreed upon sanction for that violation. Karen Russell: Sharyn, would you mind expounding on that a little more, specifically, the part why it's a good idea for the practitioner to reply early in the process, please. Sharyn Fisk: Sure, sure. Early participation by a practitioner can help OPR understand both sides of the matter. And if you recall, we gave that example earlier about the practitioner not knowing or having reason to know about the client's foreign bank account, right, that inherited bank account. And if that case ended up an OPR, having the practitioner explain the misunderstanding with the client would assist us in understanding whether there's an actual case or what the appropriate disciplinary action would be to take. Karen Russell: Yeah, so basically, realistically replying early could save time on both sides for the practitioner and for OPR, which is a win-win. So yeah, the more you know, the easier it is to decide what has to be done. Okay, so I know that you're still out.

Let's keep rolling. Sharyn Fisk: Absolutely, we're going along with our OPR complaint process. So there's a settlement and conference opportunity. After that conference and settlement opportunity, the practitioner by office will say we can't reach an agreement. OPR prepares a complaint, which is filed to the Office of Chief Counsel to initiate a formal proceeding before the Administrative Law Judge, an ALJ. And the Office of Chief Counsel will offer another opportunity to settle the case before that hearing process. That ALJ, that Administrative Law Judge, process looks very much like civil litigation. There's pleadings and motions and discoveries and there's often a hearing before the ALJ and the ALJ will issue a written decision.

The decision can sustain the allegations and impose or modify the discipline requested by OPR in the complaint or dismiss the case. After the ALJ's decision, both OPR and the practitioner have an opportunity for an appeal and this is to the Treasury Appellate Authority, an attorney in another office of the Office of Chief Counsel who has had no involvement with the case. And practitioner who wishes to appeal the Treasury official's decision may take the matter to federal court. So, the key here and all this process that I'm describing is that the practitioner has multiple opportunities to present their case, an independent review of OPR is proposed action.

When we're closing the case, OPR has a range of options for closing cases and the types of sanctions that we can impose. So, our case could be closed, what we call closed without action if we conclude there's no misconduct, or that the conduct doesn't appear to have implications for that practitioner's future fitness to practice. We may issue what we call a soft letter in tax compliance cases, giving the practitioner that opportunity that Karen asked about to correct the filings or their payment issues, before we decide on whether formal action may be necessary. So again, that timely corrective action is generally going to result in closure of the case, with a warning. There are some more there's something more formal as appropriate. The available sanctions kind of escalate through the sanction level, such as private reprimand, the public censure, suspension and disbarment. A private reprimand is in essence, a censure but without the public disclosure, so it's between OPR and the practitioner. Well, a censure is a public reprimand because we publish the list of centers and suspensions and disbarment in the Internal Revenue Bulletin that public can access that. Suspensions and disbarment will bar practitioner from practicing before the IRS until the suspension or disarmament period has ended and the individual petitions for reinstatement and OPR grants that reinstatement. Monetary sanctions are also available. However, the OPR rarely imposes monetary sanctions on the ground that practitioners not be able to buy their way out of an ethics violation. Karen Russell: Sharyn, where can practitioners learn more about things like public censure, suspension and disbarment?

Sharyn Fisk: That Circular 230, easy answer. Also, we do put our ALJ decisions out there on our webpage, they're available publicly. And this is after we have redacted personal information, and as the list of discipline practitioners can be found on just search under Circular 230 practitioners. Karen Russell: And I actually did that. So just to be clear of the document you're referencing is the OPR disciplinary lookup, which is an Excel document file. And it is a spreadsheet that is searchable using sort filter and find select features. Is that correct?

Sharyn Fisk: Yeah, that is correct. Karen Russell: Excellent. Yep. Okay, good, good. Good. Let's keep on going. Sharyn Fisk: Absolutely. Our last little piece here is expedited suspension. So under the authority of Section 10.82, in certain cases, OPR can suspend a practitioner before filing that complaint. And as a suspension imposed under 10.82's expedited suspension process is indefinite. The expedited suspension procedures under the section involve a practitioner who's already been adjudicated as having failed to meet specific standards, after already being provided an opportunity to be heard in another form. So, for example, basically an individual that has been disbarred by their state bar or Board of Accountancy. Under this section 10.82, OPR can also impose a suspension before filing compliant is the practitioner is non-compliant with their own personal federal tax responsibilities, this includes filing the returns and paying those tax liabilities. And I do want to note that under Section 10.82's expedited suspension process, the practitioner still has an opportunity to be heard by OPR before the suspension takes place, as well as two years after the suspension, so the process is there. Karen Russell: Thank you, Sharyn, so much for all of that information. Tim, do you want to finish this out with resources for the audience. Can you make sure you're not on mute? Timothy McCormally: Hey, thank you. Got through almost the whole thing. Covered a lot of material today and on the next three slides we have some helpful resources. And in addition, there's a Word document with links to the resources that you can download. These resources can be of assistance at reaffirming all of the topics we covered today and we hope that you will consider them. They provide additional information that can help you and are updated regularly so you can keep up to date. As Karen just mentioned, the final item here on the slide is the OPR lookup to identify potential practitioners who have been disciplined and finally I want to note that many of our materials are available in Spanish. I think the last slide is our contact information. And as we hope we have stressed today; we are open to your questions and your comments and look forward to participating in future programs. Karen, back to you. Karen Russell: Thank you, Timothy. Thank you so much.

Okay, everyone, it's me again, Karen Russell, and I will be moderating the question-and-answer session. Before we start the Q&A session, I want to thank everyone for attending today's presentation, Practice before the IRS: Circular 230 and the Evolving Demands of Professional Responsibility. And earlier I mentioned that we do want to know what questions you have for our presenters and this is your opportunity. If you haven't input your questions, we've got plenty of them by the way, there is still time, go ahead and click on the drop down arrow next to the ask question field and type in your question and click Send. Sharyn and Timothy are staying on with us and will be answering the questions. So before we start, we may not obviously we may not have time to answer all of the questions that have been submitted but we will I assure you get to as many as time allows for. So if you are so okay, oh, good, we can start. Let's start the question-and-answer session. Sharyn Fisk: I'm ready. Karen Russell: Okay. I've got and I'm just going to throw the questions out and Sharyn or Tim, whoever wants to take it, just go ahead and say that's me, I've got it. So I've got the first question is when a client brings in notice and there were only a few days before the due date for a response and the practitioners aren't able to reach the IRS to request like an extension to respond to that notice. Is the tax probe responsible to expedite response, especially when a filing deadline looming? Sharyn Fisk: I can take that on. That has happened many a time in my career as a tax controversy individual. The client comes in and says, yes, it seemed to have 90 days and today is the 90th day, what should I do? So, two things and as I always stress, you got to protect yourself first. So if your client comes in and you know that you cannot exercise your due diligence responsibilities to expedite that item, then you need to clearly tell the client that because it's veil failure for having brought it to you in a timely matter. What you could do because I know all of us want to assist our clients and we want to keep our clients is to make sure that the client clearly understands that you haven't got the time to do as thorough in the job as you would be, had they given it to you timely, but if you file something with the service, and you can explain in that filing either in a cover letter or if it's a petition, or if it's a protest that there was reasonable cause for a less than thorough response and that you requested you thought to request an extension but were unable to do so by not being able to get a hold of the individual and you request an opportunity to supplement the submission. That would give you put the IRS on notice that it was not you who was making this last minute response but you just trying to salvage an opportunity for your client to continue the matter with the IRS. Hopefully that covers that.

Karen Russell: Yes, it yes, it sure did. Thank you so much. My next question is from a tax professional in the audience and they took our last webinar, the Tax Pro account, but the person says their cap information wasn't updated and they tried to contact the Department and wasn't successful. How can they what can they do to get a Tax Pro account setup? Sharyn Fisk: I could probably take that one. To get a Tax Pro account setup? Karen Russell: I'm assuming that it's probably if their information was not updated that they might need to input previous information like a prior - yeah. Sharyn Fisk: Yeah, there are forms to file with the IRS to advise the IRS with change of address. I can't recall the form number off the top of my head but do type in the in the forms column Change of Address, the form should pop up. If you're a practitioner, and you have new information on your address, you would need to file a new 2848 and check the box that you are providing that new information. Unfortunately for something like a Tax Pro account or an online account, you would not be able to access those until that new address or information is input either in the CAF unit with respect to the tax professional, or the taxpayers record on account with the IRS. Once you do have that address updated, you can I would give the service a little while to do that, then you can then try to create that Tax Pro account or I shouldn't create, access it through e-services and try to get through that step one, on recognizing new address and there's also a drop down help guide on abbreviations. Those are the standard abbreviations that typically the US Postal Service uses, they don't write up street, they write ST, those kinds of kinds of hints to try to get your address as it is reflected on the IRS. Hopefully, by opening those online accounts and the Tax Pro account, you'll be able to see this tax payer's information of the actual taxpayer be able to access their information, this on record with the IRS. You can also check the transcripts as well. Karen Russell: Thank you so much. I actually have a couple of questions in here about, is there a timeframe for issuing and updated Circular 230 or any news on when proposed Regs will be issued to update the Circular 230? Timothy McCormally: Sharyn, I can. Sharyn Fisk: I will take that one. Timothy McCormally: Yeah, go ahead, Sharyn. Sharyn Fisk: No, I want to let you do it. All right, well, thank you.

It's a great question. And as most listeners may know that the revision of Circular 230 has been on the priority guidance plan of the Treasury Department, IRS for quite some time now. A revision, I think, is in the process of being developed. But given the press of both legislative and regulatory priorities that sometimes replicate and involve the same people, it's impossible to predict how soon it will come up. I would ask folks to remain patient. To the extent you have particular provisions that you believe should be revised in a particular way, we would encourage you to send those comments in. Once proposed stages a Circular 230 are issued, there will be a period of time for people to submit public comments. And following regular procedure there would likely be, if a request is made, a public hearing on which comments would be discussed. Karen Russell: Thank you for that. That answered a lot of Circular 230 questions updates that we had come in. So I've got another question here that a recent case posted on OPR website reported a $10,000 monetary penalty against a practitioner whose only transgression was a conviction for larceny. What was OPR's rationale for imposing this penalty in a non-tax matter? Sharyn Fisk: Sorry, we can't talk about particular cases. As we pointed out, we do impose monetary penalties.

We don't do it frequently. We don't want individuals buying their way out of an ethics violation, but I can't really discuss specific cases. Karen Russell: Okay, that's, that's fine.

Thank you. Thank you for that. What is an example of an act of moral turpitude? Sharyn Fisk: So the act of moral turpitude, so nice, old legal definition, basically, is the lack of a better word, it's immoral act. So it might be an act that may be unrelated to your tax practice, but an act that brings into question the judgment, honesty and truthfulness of that individual. So, an act of moral turpitude would include assault, murder, rape, drunk driving, and that they've repeatedly have had DUIs, those kinds of acts involving immoral character. Karen Russell: Thank you for that. Can you explain what a foot fault is? Sharyn Fisk: Foot fault is just a mistake that maybe I just got an old fashioned term for it. But yeah, foot fault is, you know, you just made one misstep and that brings into context when we talk about a taxpayer's failure to file a return timely, that may have been a mistake. Maybe he thought e-filed, maybe he thought e-signed, maybe he thought it went through and it didn't and you didn't realize it and you get the letter from the IRS. That one mistake is not something that we're going to look for. Maybe you made a mistake on your own personal return, maybe you miss made a mistake on a client's return. That one little mistake is not something OPR is looking for to penalize or to sanction.

What we're looking for is somebody who's made a mistake, successively, year after year after year on client returns, someone who's made a mistake, even after being put on notice that that is an error, such as through a examination of one of their client's returns where the IRS pointed out that this mistake has been made. So we're looking at patterns, not individual one-off mistakes. Karen Russell: Got it. Thank you. So I've got a real good one here, this Circular 230 cover situation where a tax return preparer takes a position but fails to inform the client of the position. Timothy McCormally: I think, Karen, it is an excellent question. And what this implicates to me maybe more than any particular provision is the failure to communicate properly with the client. And that's under Section 10.33, which is only aspirational, it's the best practices provision. That said a client if a practitioner in a single case fails to do that, that probably doesn't betray a failure to be competent, right. But if a taxpayer on an ongoing basis doesn't communicate with clients, it could go to competence or diligence, two things that are specific provisions of Circular 230 or more generally, just a basic fitness for practice. If you cannot keep your house in order, in terms of timely and completely communicating with your client, it may be a sign that something deeper is in involved. And so assuming a referral would come in it with respect to that, so it would be an investigation and if appropriate discipline maybe proposed. Karen Russell: That isn't an thank you for that. That is really a good explanation. And maybe you can advise on this. So when a practitioner is talking to a client about penalty exposure, do practitioners have to be specific as to what penalties could be imposed? Timothy McCormally: Well, my own sense is that more information and maybe this is because I'm trained so I'm aware of what the penalties are but a client may well be in the dark about particular provision. So a practitioner, looking at that situation may say, how much can my client, understand, comprehend and take into account? I might analogize it to the type of practicing medicine, I think, is being able to know how much and in what context to share. information and conversation that takes place between patients and doctors. One of the arts of

Similarly, the obligation to appraise your clients of potential penalty exposure goes to how significant the failure that that might give rise to the penalty is as well as whether or not it's a standalone issue that that's involved. If the question is, does the client or the practitioner have reasonable cause for the mistake that has been made, the more information you can share with the client, the better informed you as the practitioner could have in helping to file a protest to the assertion of a penalty. Karen Russell: Thank you for that Tim. So, got another one here. When should an advisor file a Form 8275 with a justified position? Sharyn Fisk: They should file an 8275 every time they have reached reasonable basis, which is the minimum level you need to reach in order to be able to complete inside a return. So every time you hit reasonable basis in order to avoid prepare a penalty, in order for your client to avoid an accuracy related penalty, in order to protect yourself against an OPR referral that has to come with disclosure. That's the base rule. I would say as a best practice in order to protect your client, in order to protect yourself, there is something on that return that you believe the IRS may challenge and you believe the IRS may come to the conclusion that you don't have reasonable basis, or you don't even have substantial authority, let alone get into more likely than not, then to disclose that you put on that disclosure your rationale explaining that you have met reasonable basis, what are you relying on to reach that reasonable basis and then the IRS has that answer. Should they look at the return, they question it and then they look at that 8275 and they go off? My question has been answered, pass this one through. Not saying they always pass through but that is the purpose of an 8275 is to put the IRS on notice that the issue and why you think what you did on that return is correct. And it may be the IRS agrees with you, it maybe that the IRS doesn't agree with you. If the IRS doesn't agree with you, what they can't do is now penalize you or your client for that position on the return. Karen Russell: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for that. So I've got they basically piggyback off one another. So the question is for errors and omissions, does this relate to prior returns filed by another preparer? And the piggyback on that is if we look at a return prepared incorrectly by someone else, do we have an obligation to inform the IRS, especially if it's fraudulent? Sharyn Fisk: How about Tim, you take the first part? I'll take the second part. Timothy McCormally: So yeah, thank you, Sharyn. This is an interesting question. The fact of the matter is, your obligation as, if you were the practitioner today is to give your client the most advice and the best information that you have and so an error made by a prior practitioner or by the taxpayer, himself or herself, if the previous return was prepared by the taxpayer, to give them the information, so it's not simply limited, if you will, as a as a CYA to the practitioner, it is to inform the client and enable the client to be as compliant as he or she could be. So, from that perspective, it's not limited to just the practitioners errors or omissions. And Sharyn, I would like to talk about the second part of the question. Sharyn Fisk: Sure, so that the second part is, if I've understood it correctly, what that practitioner has learned is that something that was on that return is actually fraudulent and it was done by a prior practitioner. Again, go to 10.21, you have no duty to inform the IRS and if you inform the IRS without your clients consent, then you are going to get in trouble with your licensing board. So you've got to be careful about that.

You do the 10.21, as Tim explained, you notify the client about the error or omission, you already consistency, you tell them the consequences of that. And in this case, I would put that in writing to make sure that that you've covered yourself against any allegation. And then the next step is to advise the client about what to do. More important stuff is, does that act that was on that prior year's return fraudulent or otherwise, going to affect your ability, your due diligence responsibility to prepare the client's current year's return, and which is going to affect your ability to prepare a true, correct and complete return to the best of your knowledge and meet your responsibilities under Circular 230. You cannot prepare that return. You can't have a client prepare it and you sign it. You can't do it. And it's to protect you protecting, you work long and hard for your license and you don't want to risk it for any client. You're just going to have to tell the client you cannot do it and take care of yourself. Now, we would also love if you would make a referral or complaint to OPR regarding the prior practitioner's fraudulent activities. So, we would appreciate that, so that'd be another request. Karen Russell: That was somewhat of a pretty good segue because I've got a question from someone in the audience that said in an example that we gave during the presentation, all things being equal, you have informed the new client that the past NOL calculation was incorrect. If the and you're leaving it up to the client says, I'm going to amend my prior year returns. Can the practitioner then recalculate the NOL to properly determine what the NOL is for that year that they're going to file for the current year. And use that information and file the current year return and still meet their due diligence. Sharyn Fisk: Yes, absolutely. You have corrected the error on the current year's return or you have not perpetuated that past error, and you have prepared to return that is complete and correct. And you have met your due diligence responsibilities. So, I will have to say, and having again been a former practitioner myself, a lot of times the client is going to say, hey, I don't want to correct those prior years' return.

The IRS never asked about it, so I'm not going to bring it up. And at the same time, they don't want you to correct the NOL on the current year's return, because they're afraid that's going to put the IRS on notice of the error. So this issue would come up frequently but again, you do the correct proper thing, which is correct. With the correct NOL amounts, prepare that return is accurate. In my example, there was no NOL carry forward for the 2020 year and if your client disagrees with that and we go back to, you can't prepare the return, you can't sign the return and in essence, you fire your client. Karen Russell: Okay. So, this is I've gotten a lot of questions about a waiver of conflict, do you endorse the practice of getting a waiver of conflict from spouses who seek a joint return, this was recommended by our prior head of OPR?

That's a statement that was made in the comments. Sharyn Fisk: It's a good practice and it's something that you can attach to your engagement agreements and explain that sometimes arises.

But when we're talking about 10.29 regarding conflict, you need that conflict waiver to be an informed consent. And so, asking for a conflict waiver before a conflict has arisen or even been noticed, it's hard to have that informed consent, so it's not a blanket there's no such thing as a blanket conflict waiver. So if you do some kind of acknowledgement that there could be a conflict in the future and the client would be asked about waiving it, that would be fine. But when you do have that specific conflict, you need to tell both clients given that informed consent. So they're making a knowledgeable determination on whether or why they want to waive that conflict. Karen Russell: Okay. And, it's funny because I've got another one that says, specifically with a divorced couple, do you need consent to work with both of them now as single, if both want to retain you? Sharyn Fisk: Again, it's the facts and circumstances. It may come down to, why are they retaining you. They might be retaining you for the last file return. And that particular at that time you have no knowledge or you're not aware of any kind of conflict. If they're retaining you for a collection matter or for an examination matter, you might want to beforehand, explain conflicts, explain innocent spouse and explain your responsibility on being able to whether you're able to represent both of them. And if you can't, which one's going to stay? Are you going to get rid of both? Karen Russell: Right. And you know, actually that is all the time that we have for questions, Sharyn and Tim. So I do need to tell the audience something before we get to your points of the things that you want everybody to know about. So, audience if you are participating to earn a certificate and related continuing education, you will qualify for one credit by participating for at least 15 minutes from the official start time of the webinar. And you will qualify for two credits by participating for at least 100 minutes from the official start time of the webinar, which doesn't include those first few minutes of chatting that I did before the top of the hour. So, Sharyn, what key points would you like the attendees to remember from today's webinar? Sharyn Fisk: All right, that's Circular 230 contains the regulations governing practice before the Internal Revenue Service, and that includes the sanctions for violations and the disciplinary process, that the Office of Professional Responsibility supports effective tax administration by ensuring that all tax practitioners and other third parties in the tax system adhere to professional standards and follow the law and that under Circular 230 practitioners have the responsibility to their clients under the tax administration system to exercise due diligence obligations and follow best practices. Employers and supervisors have the responsibility to provide an environment in which compliance with Circular 230 is encouraged and enabled. And duty of competence includes technological competence. Karen Russell: Okay, I guess it's back to me. Thank you for that Sharyn. Audience, I want to tell you we are planning additional webinars throughout the year. To register for an upcoming webinar, please visit Do a keyword search webinar and select the Webinars for Tax Practitioners or Webinars for Small Businesses. When appropriate, we will be offering certificates and CE credit for upcoming webinars. And we invite you to visit our video portal at And there you can view archived versions of our webinars. Again, continuing education credits or certificates of completion are not offered if you view an archived version. Again, a big thank you to Sharyn and Tim, for a great webinar and sharing their experience with us and for staying on to answer questions. I want to thank you again for attending our webinar today, the attendees, Practice before the IRS: Circular 230 and the Evolving Demands of Professional Responsibility. Sharyn and Tim did go over some great resources. Remember, there is a separate resource document available for downloading. And you can access that by clicking on the materials drop down arrow on the left side of your screen. Now I already went over this, so I'm going to be real brief about it. If you attended today's webinar for at least 100 minutes from the official start time, you will receive a certificate of completion that you can use with your credentialing organization for two possible CE credits. If you stayed on for at least 50 minutes from the official start time, you will qualify for one. And again, the time spent for chatting before the webinar started does not count. If you're eligible for continuing education from the IRS and registered with your valid PTIN, your credit will post in your PTIN account. If you qualify and have not received your certificate or credit by October 21, please send an email to the address shown on this slide, it is And if you're interested in finding out who your local stakeholder liaison is, you may send an email to that address as well. And we'll send you that information. We would appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to complete a short evaluation before you exit. If you'd like to have more sessions like this one, let us know. If you have thoughts on how we can make them better, let us know that too. If you have requests for future webinar topics or pertinent information you would like to see in a Fact Sheet or Tax Tip or an FAQ on, include those in your comments in this section or comments on the survey.

Click the survey button on the right side of your screen to begin and if you cannot, if it doesn't pop up, make sure you disable your pop up blocker. It's been a pleasure to be with you today. And on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service and our presenters, we would like to thank you for attending today's webinar. It is very important for the IRS to stay connected with the tax professional community, individual taxpayers, industry associations along with federal, state and local government organizations. You make our job a lot easier by sharing the information that allows for proper tax reporting. Thank you again for your time and attendance and we wish you much success in your business or practice and you may exit the webinar at this time.