Is Your Tax Professional Trustworthy?
If you are like the vast majority of Americans, you employ some tax “professional” to assist you in filing your taxes or in handling disputes with the IRS. However, have you ever stopped to consider whether the person you entrust with all of your financial information is actually worthy of that trust? Whether that question has crossed your mind before or this is the first time you are considering it, there is now a means to check whether a particular tax practitioner has been suspended, disbarred, or disciplined for past misconduct. The IRS Office of Professional Responsibility recently released an searchable Excel spreadsheet to look up which practitioners have violated IRS Circular 230. Specifically, Circular 230 details rules governing authority to practice before the IRS, duties and restrictions related to practice before the IRS, and sanctions for violating regulations.
Previously, taxpayers could only determine if a tax practitioner was sanctioned by viewing each and every IRS announcement of discipline—a nearly insurmountable task. Now, the new Excel spreadsheet contains data from the past 25 years, including a practitioner’s name, city, state, designation, disciplinary sanction, effective date, ending date, and whether the practitioner has been reinstated. The IRS will also update the spreadsheet to add new entries on a rolling basis.
Don’t delay; make sure that whomever you entrust with your personal and sensitive financial information is worthy of that trust. Not all tax practitioners are created equal.
–By Tony Nasser, Esq., Barnes Law
Tony Nasser is an attorney licensed to practice law in California.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.
 I.R.S. Circular 230, available at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/revised_circular_230_6_-_2014.pdf.