The American Institute of CPAs has written a letter to the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department asking for changes in proposed regulations for tax practitioners.
The letter, sent November 29 to IRS acting commissioner Steven T. Miller, IRS chief counsel William J. Wilkins and Treasury Assistant Secretary of Tax Policy Mark Mazur, suggests clarifications in the proposed requirements under Circular 230.
“With respect to written tax advice, we suggest adding a requirement that the practitioner consider and apply the relevant authorities,” wrote AICPA Tax Executive Committee chair Jeffrey A. Porter. “We also note that new provisions in Section 10.37(b) could be read to impose a new duty of inquiry on practitioners, and we recommend modifications to eliminate uncertainty. Finally, as a general matter, we ask that when the regulations are finalized, Treasury and the Service make the effective date clear—e.g., the rules will be effective on the date finalized, and any written advice issued on or after the effective date should conform to the final regulations.”
The letter also recommended that the revisions in the section on due diligence should more explicitly state that determining the reasonableness of the reliance on another practitioner be determined by the facts and circumstances.
The AICPA also made a number of recommendations regarding the proposed competency requirements and other regulations. The Institute said it strongly supported the addition of an obligation of competence in the proposed regulations. However, it suggested that practitioners should be able to fulfill the obligation of competence by research and study during the course of the representation or by consulting with other practitioners who have the relevant expertise.