Washington (Jan. 9, 2003) -- The Internal Revenue Service has created a new Office of Professional Responsibility, charged with enhancing the oversight of tax professionals. It replaces the office of the Director of Practice. Brien Downing was named director.

"The creation of the Office of Professional Responsibility and the appointment of a senior executive to lead the office are examples of our continuing commitment to ensuring the integrity of the American tax system and recognition of tax professionals as an integral part of effective tax administration," said acting commissioner Bob Wenzel..

The new office will have more than twice the staff that was available under the previous organization. In addition to licensing enrolled agents, the office will investigate allegations of misconduct and negligence against agents, attorneys, accountants and other professionals representing taxpayers before the IRS

"My office will coordinate its efforts with the associations of tax professionals in dealing with representatives who fail to meet the standards of professional conduct," Downing said. "Tax professional organizations are close working partners with the IRS and they understand the problems that result when members abuse the tax system. The creation of this office is a direct result of the concerns of the professional organizations."

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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