Confidentiality

CPAs and Privileged Communications

Even though the privilege has been traditionally reserved for attorneys, as the world has became more complex, the courts have expanded privilege beyond attorneys to include accountants in certain situations.

Current Tax Return Disclosure Issues Involving Sec. 7216

Practitioners face some difficult scenarios in properly disclosing or using client tax return information. Multiple professional ethics pronouncements and federal and state legislative and administrative pronouncements all must be considered before acting.

Transferring Client Data Securely

It is critical for CPAs to maintain control over the transfer of data to assure that their clients’ confidential information is not compromised.

AICPA Provides Guidance on FSA Certification Letters

Tthe AICPA has worked with the FSA to create a certification letter CPAs can use when their clients are asked to certify income and is providing its members with sample engagement and disclosure letters to be used in connection with providing a certification letter for clients.

IRS Issues Regs. and Guidance on Disclosure of Tax Return Information

The IRS has issued regulations under Sec. 7216 that increase the circumstances in which tax return preparers can disclose or use certain limited tax return information and two revenue rulings that provide guidance to tax return preparers on situations in which they will not be liable for civil or criminal penalties under Sec. 7216 for disclosing or using tax return information.

Temp. Regs. Give Guidance on Return Preparer Information Disclosures

The Service released final and temporary regulations that govern the disclosure of a taxpayer’s Social Security number to overseas return preparers (T.D. 9409; REG-121698–08). Under the temporary regulations, such disclosure will be permitted in limited cases, with the taxpayer’s consent. Return preparers are generally forbidden to disclose a taxpayer’s Social

Sec. 7216 Regulations

The AICPA Tax Division has formed a task force to review the impact of final regulations released by Treasury and the IRS in January 2008, involving the disclosure and use of tax return information by tax return preparers under Sec. 7216.

Newsletter Articles

50th ANNIVERSARY

50 years of The Tax Adviser

The January 2020 issue marks the 50th anniversary of The Tax Adviser, which was first published in January 1970. Over the coming year, we will be looking back at early issues of the magazine, highlighting interesting tidbits.

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

2019 tax software survey

This annual survey shows how CPAs rate the tax preparation software they used during last tax season and how it handled the recent tax law changes.