The Ethics Story – A Tale of Right & Wrong

This program was recorded live on Tuesday, November 17, 2020

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Continuing Education

CPE Program Knowledge Level: Ethics
2 CPE Credit; NO prerequisites or advance preparation
CTEC Course #: 3022-CE-0142
IRS/RPO Approved Program
#7ZBUJ-E-00084-20-O (Online/Group) Live (Group-Internet Based)
#7ZBUJ-E-00084-20-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 upcoming 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 penalties that may be imposed on practitioners, and the impact of penalties on the conduct of a professional's practice.

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, and the penalties imposed on practitioners who fall short.

Program Learning Objectives

  1. Identify a method of private communication from the IRS to the return preparer.
  2. Identify the section of Circular 230 that sets forth best practices for tax advisors.
  3. Identify the form number for the Paid Preparer's Due Diligence Checklist.
  4. Identify the section of Circular 230 that would address the circumstance where a tax return omitted the taxpayer's W-2 income.

Program Outline

  • CIRCULAR 230
    • Recent Developments
    • Proposed Changes

    • Tax Return Preparers
    • Enrolled Agents
    • Other Tax Professionals
    • Deceased Tax Professionals

    • Due Diligence
    • Competence
    • Client Records and Their Security
    • Conflicts of Interest
    • Solicitation of Business
    • Other Duties

    • Failure to Follow Procedures
    • Disclosure or Use of Return Information
    • Understatement of Taxpayer Liability
    • Lack of Diligence re EITC
    • Aiding or Abetting Tax Understatements
    • IRS Procedures for Applying Penalties
    • Best Practices to Avoid Discipline and Penalties



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 Panelists

Susie DiMaggio

Susie DiMaggio, EA

Susie DiMaggio, EA has been an Enrolled Agent since 2006 and for the past 6 years owns has operated her own Tax Resolution and Preparation business in Ventura, CA. Prior to owing her own business, she worked for a tax office for 14 years. Susie's areas of expertise are focused towards Tax Representation before the Examinations, Appeals & Collections Division of the Internal Revenue Service. Susie is a Past President of the Channel Islands Chapter of CSEA and currently serves as the President for the California Society of Enrolled Agents. Susie has served on the CTEC Board of Directors as the CSEA representative for the past 7 years.

Ruth A. Rowlette

Ruth A. Rowlette, EA
Attorney At Law

Ruth is a longtime agent and tax attorney. From 1982 to 1990, she worked for the IRS in the Examination Group and as a Paralegal Specialist in the Office of Chief Counsel, in both the Laguna Niguel and Sacramento, CA offices. She obtained her EA credential in 1991, her license to practice law in California in 1992 and has been in active tax law practice since.

Ruth graduated from McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, CA with a Juris Doctor degree and also obtained a substantial amount of undergraduate units in accounting and business issues during her time while employed with the IRS. After opening her law practice, she has focused on representing individuals and small business owners before the IRS, the Franchise Tax Board and the California Employment Development Department on a variety of tax issues. Ruth also assists clients with bankruptcy filings and some estate planning.

Ruth is a longtime supporter of Enrolled Agents, as a speaker at various local, state and national continuing education events, an instructor at NTPI, and a regular contributor to the EA Journal. She also sits in an advisory capacity on the NAEA Ethics sub-committee, helping the committee with resolving various ethical challenges by providing legal perspective as needed.

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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