With the increasing complexities in tax law and regulations facing CPAs today, it is even more difficult to stay current on risk management and loss prevention practices. IMPACT presents the following overview of key liability areas, pitfalls and tips as a guide for tax practitioners heading into busy season.
Special attention should be paid to a new consent form now accompanying document requests from the Office of the Chief Accountant (OCA) under the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). Recent OCA document requests now include a request for the CPA to consent to the release of the CPA’s audit workpapers to other authorities. Many CPAs, believing they are required to sign the consent or not aware of its implications, are signing the consent.
Tax issues involving estate tax planning are frequently prone to disputes and claims. This is due in part to the long period of time that generally falls between the time when estate planning decisions are made, and the time when the results of the decisions are known.
Memories of the CPA’s advice and the client’s decisions fade over time, making documentation of the advice and decisions all the more important. Making matters worse, heirs typically aren’t involved in the planning and may allege that the decisions weren’t understood by the deceased.