The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the board's recommended ethics and independence rules for auditor independence, tax services and contingent fees.

The ethics rule establishes a general obligation for registered public accounting firms and employees to be independent of the firm's audit clients throughout the audit and professional engagement period. The rules also identify circumstances in which the provision of tax services impairs an auditor's independence, including services related to marketing, planning or giving an opinion in favor of certain tax treatments.

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