Niles Elber Address Tax Return Preparers Being Under New Scrutiny on Strafford Webinar

1:00 PM EST


The IRS' budget shortfalls and increased Congressional scrutiny into the agency’s affairs have led to an increased focus on enforcement and collection actions by the IRS. The IRS is touting its use of data analytics to identify trends and flesh out noncompliant taxpayers. The results of these initiatives will likely include a close look at the conduct of the tax advisers and professionals involved. This heightened focus on fraud, non-filers, and material advisers should make every tax practitioner wary.

Some tax adviser actions that are subject to IRS scrutiny are clear. Promoters of specific abusive tax shelters are being pursued and held accountable. However, what often seem like simple collection and civil matters can quickly escalate to referrals for criminal investigations. Practitioners need to familiarize themselves with the badges of fraud included in the Internal Revenue Manual, as these should be the basis for due diligence and considered for any client subject to an IRS examination. The list of tax adviser sanctions includes return preparer and promoter penalties and injunctions, OPR sanctions for violations of Circular 230, and even criminal charges. Tax practitioners need to understand how to stay off the IRS' radar.

Listen as our panel of IRS tax controversy experts discusses specific actions that could warrant a tax preparer investigation, indications an examination may become a criminal matter, and exercising due diligence during clients' IRS examinations.


  1. The Internal Revenue Service's current focus on tax preparers
  2. Civil examinations and penalties
  3. Criminal examinations and penalties
  4. Material advisers and promoters
  5. Actions by tax professionals that draw the IRS' attention
  6. Exercising due diligence
  7. Recent and notable cases


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the fraud indicators outlined in the Internal Revenue Manual?
  • What are specific tax practitioner activities known to draw IRS scrutiny?
  • What signs indicate a client's examination may become a criminal matter?
  • When does the IRS' focus shift from the taxpayer to the preparer?
  • What tax preparer sanctions are available to the IRS?


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