Stuck in The Middle – Between The Client and Your Professional Code of Conduct (Ethics)

This program was recorded live on Tuesday, November 16, 2021

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Continuing Education

CPE Program Knowledge Level: Ethics
2 CPE Credit; NO prerequisites or advance preparation
CTEC Course #: 3022-CE-0149
IRS/RPO Approved Program
#7ZBUJ-E-00091-21-O (Online/Group) Live (Group-Internet Based)
#7ZBUJ-E-00091-21-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 the section of Circular 230 that discusses the procedures to ensure compliance.
  2. Identify a private form of communication from the IRS to a return preparer.
  3. Identify the name of the rule that allows a taxpayer to avoid a tax obligation arising from errors made by a spouse on a joint return.
  4. Identify the section of Circular 230 that defines practitioner competence.

Program Outline

  • Circular 230
    • Changes in 2021
    • Proposed changes

  • Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR)
    • OPR enforcement of professional's duties
    • Professional's rights in OPR enforcement activities
    • Penalties OPR may impose
    • Best practices to avoid penalties

  • Reconciling Professional's Responsibilities and Client's Wishes
    • Due Diligence
    • Competence
    • Protection for client's records
    • Avoiding conflicts
    • Other duties



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

Sharyn M. Fisk

Sharyn M. Fisk
Director of the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR)

Sharyn M. Fisk was named Director of the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) in January 2020. As Director, she is responsible for the IRS' oversight of tax professionals who practice before the IRS as set out in Treasury Circular 230.

Sharyn's extensive background in the tax community brings over 20 years of tax experience to the OPR position. Before coming to the IRS, Sharyn was Professor of Tax at Cal Poly Pomona and Director of the University's VITA program. Prior to teaching, Sharyn was in private practice specializing in tax controversies. As a private practitioner, Sharyn represented hundreds of individuals, businesses, and corporate taxpayers before the IRS, the Department of Justice Tax Division, federal and state courts, and state taxing authorities. These matters involved civil examinations and appeals, criminal investigations, and tax collection issues.

Sharyn has held leadership roles in several professional organizations. She served as a former Chair of the Tax Policy, Practice and Legislation Committee for the American Bar Association (ABA). She is a past Chair of the Taxation Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Taxation Section of the Beverly Hills Bar Association. Sharyn recently concluded a three-year term as a member of the IRS Advisory Council (IRSAC). She chaired a task force on unenrolled return preparers on behalf of the Standards of Tax Practice Committee for the ABA Taxation Section. She is also a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel. Sharyn wrote and spoke extensively before national, state, and local tax professional organizations on all aspects of civil and criminal tax controversy issues and ethics in tax practice.

Sharyn earned a B.A. in Journalism from San Diego State University, a J.D. from Rutgers University, and an LL.M in taxation from the New York University School of Law.

Industry Panelist

Lonnie Gary

Lonnie Gary, EA
Partner, Ashwaubenon Tax Professionals

Lonnie Gary is an enrolled agent from Mountain View, California and specializes in federal and state tax agency representation. Lonnie has been preparing tax returns professionally since 1988 and passed the Special Enrollment Exam in 1992. He is also admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court as a non-attorney.

Lonnie served on the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC) from 2008 to 2010 where he was chair of the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) Sub-group in 2009. Lonnie has presented tax seminars to various business groups, IRS Forums and EA chapters and affiliates. He has also appeared on the Tax Talk Today program discussing professional ethics and tax law changes.

Lonnie is a past president (2014-2015) of NAEA and has served as chair of several committees and task forces including the Government Relations Committee. He is also a past president (2003-2004) of the California Society of Enrolled Agents (CSEA) and past president (1999-2000) of the East Bay Association of Enrolled Agents (EBAEA).

Thomas Gorczynski

Thomas A. Gorczynski, EA, USTCP

Thomas A. Gorczynski, EA, USTCP is a nationally recognized speaker and educator on federal tax law matters. He is editor-in-chief of EA Journal, author of the Tom Talks Taxes online newsletter, the co-author of the PassKey Learning Systems EA Review Series, and co-owner of Compass Tax Educators.

He is an Enrolled Agent, a Certified Tax Planner, a National Tax Practice InstituteTM Fellow, a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist, and admitted to the bar of the United States Tax Court as a non-attorney.

Tom earned a Master of Science in Taxation from Golden Gate University and a Certificate in Finance and Accounting from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He received the 2019 Excellence in Education Award from the National Association of Enrolled Agents and the 2018 Member of the Year Award from the American Institute of Certified Tax Planners.

Tom’s tax practice in Phoenix, Arizona focuses on implementing advanced tax reduction strategies and representing taxpayers with complex tax problems before the IRS and in the United States Tax Court.

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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