AICPA Exposes SSTS Draft

By Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.

On November 26, the AICPA's Tax Executive Committee exposed for review draft revised Statements on Standards for Tax Services (SSTS).

The SSTS are enforceable tax practice standards that apply to all AICPA members providing tax services. The statements are intended to complement other standards of tax practice, such as the penalty provisions of the Code, state boards of accountancy rules, and Circular 230, Regulations Governing the Practice of Attorneys, Certified Public Accountants, Enrolled Agents, Enrolled Actuaries, Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents, and Appraisers Before the Internal Revenue Service .

The original SSTS were promulgated in 2000 to replace the former Statements on Responsibilities in Tax Practice (SRTP). The original SSTS largely mirrored the SRTP, except that they were enforceable standards rather than advisory opinions on good tax practice.

Since then, AICPA members have asked for clarification of various matters in the SSTS, and the draft SSTS attempt to clear up these issues. With the exposure of the draft SSTS, the AICPA is inviting public comment on the proposed changes. The deadline for making comments is May 15, 2009.  

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