Walking the Line – Meeting Your Ethical Duty to Clients and the Federal Government

This program was recorded live on Tuesday, November 15, 2022

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Continuing Education

CPE Program Knowledge Level: Ethics
2 CPE Credit; NO prerequisites or advance preparation
CTEC Course #: 3022-CE-0156
IRS/RPO Approved Program
#7ZBUJ-E-00100-22-O (Online/Group) Live (Group-Internet Based)
#7ZBUJ-E-00100-22-S (QAS Self Study) Archive
Ethics (2 Hours)

Program Content

This online learning program, presented as a live webcast, will be also archived for QAS Self Study. The program will be available for viewing for 12 months after the live webcast. A panel of IRS and industry experts will present the content during a live, interactive discussion, where participant questions can be submitted. Questions will be answered live on the program or posted on the Resources page

The program, through a lively round-table discussion and real time interaction with the audience, examines the changes that affect the rules governing practice before the IRS and the prospects for additional changes. The program will focus on how the IRS assures that practitioners maintain the highest ethical standards. Panelists also will focus on ethical problems most often faced by tax practitioners, the dilemma when client's wishes clash with a professional's responsibilities, and the penalties that may be imposed on practitioners.

By the end of the program, participants will have a practical understanding, through accurate, current, and effectively designed communications, of the ethical obligations of practitioners, the enforcement of those ethical obligations, the penalties imposed on practitioners who fall short, and the resolution of conflicts that arise between client and the professional's responsibilities.

Program Learning Objectives

  1. Identify which IRS Publications explains how to draft a security plan.
  2. Identify the form number for the Paid Preparer's Due Diligence Checklist.
  3. Identify who cannot practice or represent before the IRS.
  4. Identify which section of Circular 230 states the due diligence as to accuracy requirements.

Program Outline

  • Circular 230's Broad Reach
    • Tax Return Preparers
    • Enrolled Agents
    • Other Tax Professionals
    • Recent Developments
    • Proposed Changes

  • Duties and the Ethical Issues That Arise
    • Due Diligence
    • Competence
    • Client Records and Their Security
    • Multi-Party Representation
    • Solicitation of Business
    • Other Duties

  • Office of Professional Responsibility
    • OPR's Function
    • Tax Professional's Rights in OPR Actions
    • Representation Before OPR

  • Best Practices to Avoid Penalties
    • Failure to Follow Procedures
    • Disclosure or Use of Return Information
    • Lack of Diligence
    • Aiding or Abetting Tax Liability Understatements



Alan Pinck, EA
A. Pinck & Associates

Alan Pinck is an Enrolled Agent with over 30 years of tax preparation experience in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has built a practice specializing in individual, small business tax preparation and audit representation. You have seen Alan presenting at NTPI events, CSEA Super Seminar, Spidell Publishing as well as a variety of other presentations for tax groups and small business associations. Having represented thousands of tax returns in audit, Alan has obtained tremendous insight of the audit process as well as knowledge on a wide variety of tax issues.

IRS Panelists

Timothy J. McCormally

Timothy J. McCormally
Director of the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility, Internal Revenue Service

Timothy J. McCormally has served as acting Director of the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility since September 2022. He joined OPR as a Special Counsel in February 2021 after seven years as a director in KPMG's National Tax Practice, thirty years with Tax Executives Institute (both as general counsel and executive director), and six years with the predecessor of the Eversheds Sutherland law firm. Timothy received his bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. He is a frequent speaker and author on topics of tax ethics and professionalism, has published a book of poetry, and served four years on the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Counsel, including one year as Chair of the overall group.

Industry Panelists

Jennifer MacMillan

Jennifer MacMillan, EA

Jennifer MacMillan has been an enrolled agent, licensed to practice before the Internal Revenue Service, since 1994. After selling her practice in California in 2020, Ms. MacMillan now has a small practice in Colorado, specializing in individual income tax preparation and planning services. She is a Fellow of the National Association of Enrolled Agents' (NAEA) National Tax Practice Institute (NTPIâ„¢) and was on the faculty of NTPIâ„¢ for many years, teaching advanced representation skills and ethics courses to Circular 230 practitioners.

Ms. MacMillan has written numerous articles for NAEA's EA Journal as well as a variety of other tax-related publications over the years. She has appeared as a tax expert on NBC's Today Show, has been a panelist on Tax Talk Today on four previous occasions, and testified before Congress on reforming the IRS in 2017. Jennifer was the Chair of the 2016 Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC), is a Past President of the California Society of Enrolled Agents (CSEA), and currently serves as Secretary of NAEA.

Laura Strombom

Laura Strombom, EA, MBA, NTPI Fellow, USTCP

Laura is passionate about educating tax professionals to be "better than the box." To this end, Laura teaches from a client centric perspective. Laura has previously taught college courses in taxes and accounting, and enjoys all opportunities she gets to teach. She is involved in the Big Valley Chapter of CSEA, NAEA and NATP. Her practice has two offices: Stockton and Valley Springs, CA. She offers preparation and representation services to all manner of taxpayers. Niche markets include clergy, daycare, trucking, construction and medical professionals.

Laura began her business in 1995, offering bookkeeping, payroll, and accounting software. After passing the basic tax course and earning the California Registered Tax Preparer credential, she offered tax preparation as well. In 1998 she entered graduate school at Golden Gate University to enhance her BS Degree in Animal Science from UC Davis with an Executive MBA. In 2000 she sat for and passed the written 4 part SEE Exam and became an Enrolled Agent. In 2010 she finished the 3-part NTPI Fellowship program. Finally, in 2021 she sat for and passed the United States Tax Court Practitioner Exam.

Content Consultant

David F. Windish, J.D., LL.M
Content Consultant

David F. Windish, J.D., LL.M. in taxation, is a tax attorney and consultant. He has served as an instructor of tax-advantaged investments at the New York Institute of Finance; an Instructor of business law at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, N.Y.; and an adjunct professor at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va. He has also served as executive editor for Tax Analysts; managing editor for Business Strategies, published by CCH; and senior editor for the Institute for Business Planning.

Mr. Windish is the author of Practical Guide to Real Estate Taxation, published by CCH and currently going into its sixth edition. Earlier works include Tax Advantaged Investments and Investor's Guide to Limited Partnerships, both published by the New York Institute of Finance. Through the Center for Video Education, he authored continuing education courses dealing with real estate and closely held corporations. Those courses included readings, case studies, and videotape segments.

Mr. Windish is a graduate of Rutgers University Law School and the New York University School of Law, Graduate Division. He has been heard as a guest speaker at professional meetings and seminars and on popular radio programs.

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