In a move triggered by lawmaker's concerns over the marketing of abusive tax shelters by some accounting firms, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has proposed new rules restricting the ability of accountants to provide tax services to their audit clients.

If approved in final form by the board and by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the PCAOB's initiative would explicitly prohibit accountants from offering tax services to audit clients on a contingent-fee basis, and bar them from providing any tax services to corporate officers who are "in a reporting oversight role of an audit client."

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