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The Oregon Administrative Rules contain OARs filed through August 15, 2014
 
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BOARD OF TAX PRACTITIONERS

 

DIVISION 10

CODE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

800-010-0015

Definitions

As used in these rules, unless the context requires otherwise:

(1) "Board" means the State Board of Tax Practitioners.

(2) "Branch Office" means an office or other place of business where clients would normally or usually contact a licensee.

(3) "Client" means a person for whom a licensee performs or agrees to perform professional services for valuable consideration and the services are related directly or indirectly to the client's personal income taxes.

(4) "Confidential Information" means information furnished to a licensee for, or in connection with, the preparation of an income tax return.

(5) "Designated Consultant" means a Licensed Tax Consultant who is the responsible individual for the preparation of all personal income tax returns prepared for the public for each registered tax preparation business.

(6) "Licensee" means a Licensed Tax Consultant, Licensed Tax Preparer, or any person, corporation, firm or partnership falling within the purview of ORS 673.605 to 673.735.

(7) "Resident Consultant" means the Licensed Tax Consultant who is physically present to conduct and carryout his/her duties in the principal or branch office.

(8) "Tax Consultant or Tax Preparer Practice" and a licensee's "professional practice" means any service performed or supervised by the licensee for a client, including any advice or recommendation made by the licensee to the client, when it is related directly or indirectly to the client's personal income tax return, if the licensee also prepares the client's personal income tax returns.

(9) "Tax Preparation Business" means a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or other entity that offers personal income tax preparation services to the public, for valuable consideration, whether operated under an individual's own name or under an assumed business or corporate name, and including tax preparation businesses operated on a full- or part-time basis.

(10) "Valuable Consideration", as used in ORS 673.615 and OAR Chapter 800, means a benefit that accrues to a person as a result of preparing, advising or assisting in the preparation of personal tax returns for others, or offering to perform such services. Valuable consideration need not be translatable into dollars and cents.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 673
Stats. Implemented:
Hist.: TSE 6, f. & ef. 1-5-76; TSE 2-1982, f. & ef. 5-10-82; TSE 1-1985, f. & ef. 1-15-85; TSE 6-1986, f. & ef. 12-31-86; TSE 3-1987, f. & ef. 10-2-87; TSE 1-1990, f. & cert. ef. 1-25-90; TSE 4-1991, f. & cert. ef. 10-28-91; BTP 3-2005, f. 8-31-05, cert. ef. 9-1-05; BTP 2-2007, f. 1-12-07, cert. ef. 2-1-07; BTP 1-2008, f. 1-14-08, cert. ef. 2-1-08; BTP 1-2010, f. 1-19-10, cert. ef. 2-1-10; BTP 1-2011, f. 1-24-11, cert. ef. 2-1-11; BTP 1-2012, f. 1-30-12, cert. ef. 2-1-12

800-010-0017

Incompetence and Negligence

Under ORS 673.700(3):

(1) A licensee is incompetent when he/she has engaged in conduct which evidenced a lack of ability or fitness to perform his or her professional functions.

(2) A licensee is negligent when he/she has engaged in detrimental conduct to the client.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 673
Stats. Implemented:
Hist.: TSE 8-1990, f. & cert. ef. 9-4-90; TSE 9-1990(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 10-30-90; TSE 1-1991, f. & cert. ef. 1-3-91; BTP 1-2003, f. & cert. ef. 9-23-03; BTP 1-2008, f. 1-14-08, cert. ef. 2-1-08; BTP 1-2010, f. 1-19-10, cert. ef. 2-1-10

800-010-0020

Confidential Information

(1) A licensee shall not disclose any confidential information obtained in the course of professional engagement except:

(a) With the written consent of the client;

(b) After being subpoenaed by a court or governmental agency of competent jurisdiction;

(c) In response to an inquiry by the Board or its investigator;

(d) As required by federal or state regulations.

(2) Members of the Board and its employees shall not disclose any confidential client information which comes to their attention except as required to carry out their official responsibilities.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 673
Stats. Implemented:
Hist.: TSE 6, f. & ef. 1-5-76; TSE 1-1985, f. & ef. 1-15-85; BTSE 1-2001, f. & cert. ef. 4-19-01; BTP 1-2009, f. & cert. ef. 2-5-09; BTP 1-2013, f. 1-15-13, cert. ef. 2-1-13; BTP 1-2014, f. 1-16-14, cert. ef. 2-1-14

800-010-0025

Integrity and Objectivity

(1) A licensee shall not knowingly misrepresent facts while preparing, assisting or advising in the preparation of income tax returns. A licensee may resolve doubt in favor of a client if there is reasonable support for the position.

(2) A licensee who finds that a client has made an error or omitted information or related material required on an income tax return shall promptly advise the client of such error or omission.

(3) A licensee shall not arrange for or permit a client's individual income tax refund check to be mailed or made payable to the licensee at any time, for any purpose.

(4) Commissions earned for additional personal services by the licensee, such as real estate, insurance, investment and securities sales, may be earned if the licensee also holds any license, permit or registration required by law to perform the services. A licensee shall disclose in writing that he/she will be compensated for other personal services. The client will acknowledge receipt of the disclosure in writing.

(5) Fees in connection with preparation of tax returns must be stated separately from, and in addition to, any other professional services provided.

(6) A licensee shall, upon written request by a client, make available or return within a reasonable time to the client, personal papers or source material in the manner furnished to the licensee by the client;

(a) A licensee who has provided a tax return to a client shall, upon written request by the client, make available within a reasonable time to the client, copies of depreciation schedules that support the return;

(b) A licensee is not required to furnish records to a client more than once under this subsection.

(7) A licensee shall not engage in fraudulent, deceptive or dishonest conduct relating to the licensee's professional practice.

(8) A licensee shall not violate any position of trust, including positions of trust outside the licensee's professional practice.

(9) A licensee must be current on all tax return filings and all tax payment plans pertaining to the licensee and/or licensee’s business before a license can be issued or renewed.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 673.730(6)
Stats. Implemented:
Hist.: TSE 6, f. & ef. 1-5-76; TSE 3-1980, f. & ef. 8-22-80; TSE 1-1985, f. & ef. 1-15-85; TSE 4-1986, f. & ef. 8-15-86; TSE 3-1989, f. & cert. ef. 12-20-89; TSE 1-1992, f. 3-24-92, cert. ef. 6-1-92; BTSE 1-2001, f. & cert. ef. 4-19-01; BTP 1-2003, f. & cert. ef. 9-23-03; BTP 3-2005, f. 8-31-05, cert. ef. 9-1-05; BTP 1-2008, f. 1-14-08, cert. ef. 2-1-08; BTP 1-2009, f. & cert. ef. 2-5-09; BTP 1-2010, f. 1-19-10, cert. ef. 2-1-10; BTP 1-2014, f. 1-16-14, cert. ef. 2-1-14

800-010-0030

Accountability

(1) A Licensed Tax Consultant or registered tax preparation business shall only allow persons to practice in the consultant's or tax preparation business name who are licensed as tax consultants, tax preparers, or as described in ORS 673.610.

(2) A Licensed Tax Consultant shall not permit the use of the consultant's license to enable others to establish and carry on a business for the preparation of personal income tax returns wherein the consultant's only interest is the receipt of a fee for use of the consultant's license and the Licensed Tax Consultant does not provide supervision of the tax preparation activities as defined in OAR 800-025-0050.

(3) A Licensed Tax Consultant or a Licensed Tax Preparer shall not state or imply that a Licensed Tax Preparer preparing tax returns to which the consultant's license number or tax preparation business information is affixed is not:

(a) Fully subject to the supervision of the Licensed Tax Consultant or registered tax preparation business; as defined in OAR 800-025-0050; or

(b) Acting as agent of the Licensed Tax Consultant or registered tax preparation business.

(4) A Licensed Tax Preparer shall not engage in the preparation of tax returns, assist in such preparation, gather tax information, or provide tax advice for valuable consideration unless the Licensed Tax Preparer is under the supervision of a Licensed Tax Consultant as defined in OAR 800-025-0050.

(5) A licensee shall not maintain a financial interest in or hold an employment position with any business entity that offers personal income tax preparation services, if any other person maintains a financial interest in the entity, or holds a management position involving authority over the business operations of the entity, and:

(a) That person's tax consultants or tax preparers license has been permanently revoked; or

(b) The Board has refused to issue or renew a license to that person; or

(c) Another state regulatory agency or the Internal Revenue Service has revoked or refused to issue or renew an occupational license, registration or permit held or requested by that person, for conduct involving tax preparation or dishonesty.

(6) If required to do so under section (5) of this rule, a licensee shall be allowed a reasonable time, not to exceed 180 calendar days, to sever an existing relationship with a person whose license is revoked or refused.

(7) Section (5) of this rule does not apply to a licensee or a person described in subsections (5)(a) through (c) of this rule, whose only financial interest in a tax preparation business is the ownership of ten percent or less of the stock in a publicly-held corporation.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 673
Stats. Implemented:
Hist.: TSE 6, f. & ef. 1-5-76; TSE 1-1979, f. 6-14-79, ef. 6-15-79; TSE 1-1985, f. & ef. 1-15-85; TSE 8-1987, f. & ef. 12-21-87; BTSE 1-2001, f. & cert. ef. 4-19-01; BTP 2-2007, f. 1-12-07, cert. ef. 2-1-07; BTP 1-2008, f. 1-14-08, cert. ef. 2-1-08; BTP 1-2009, f. & cert. ef. 2-5-09; BTP 1-2010, f. 1-19-10, cert. ef. 2-1-10; BTP 1-2011, f. 1-24-11, cert. ef. 2-1-11; BTP 1-2013, f. 1-15-13, cert. ef. 2-1-13

800-010-0035

Contingent Fees

A licensee shall not render or offer to render professional services under an arrangement whereby no fee will be charged unless a specific finding or result is attained, or where the fee is otherwise contingent upon the findings or results of such services.

Stat. Auth.:
Stats. Implemented:
Hist.: TSE 6, f. & ef. 1-5-76

800-010-0040

Identification

(1) A licensee shall include the name of the tax preparation business, permanent address, and signature on the original and all copies of federal and state personal income tax returns or electronic filing documents prepared by the licensee, together with all other data required by the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Revenue, and State Board of Tax Practitioners. Office copies are exempt from this requirement.

(2) The state personal income tax return shall include the signature and the board issued license number of the licensee who substantially prepared the return.

(3) In addition to the original returns filed on behalf of a client, at least one (1) copy of the complete set of the tax returns, including all accompanying forms and schedules, specifically depreciation schedules shall be supplied to the client. A licensee is not required to provide a free copy of the tax returns to a client more than once. However, in the case of a joint tax return, each spouse is entitled, upon request, to a free copy of the tax return.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 673.730(5)
Stats. Implemented:
Hist.: TSE 6, f. & ef. 1-5-76; TSE 12, f. & ef. 9-20-77; TSE 1-1978, f. & ef. 2-3-78; TSE 2-1982, f. & ef. 5-10-82; TSE 1-1985, f. & ef. 1-15-85; TSE 2-1995, f. & cert. ef. 5-5-95; BTSE 1-2001, f. & cert. ef. 4-19-01; BTP 2-2007, f. 1-12-07, cert. ef. 2-1-07; BTP 1-2009, f. & cert. ef. 2-5-09; BTP 1-2010, f. 1-19-10, cert. ef. 2-1-10; BTP 1-2011, f. 1-24-11, cert. ef. 2-1-11; BTP 1-2012, f. 1-30-12, cert. ef. 2-1-12; BTP 1-2014, f. 1-16-14, cert. ef. 2-1-14

800-010-0041

Address and Telephone

Licensees shall file with the Board their current mailing address, residence address, e-mail address and telephone number(s). In addition, licensees and non-licensed business owners shall file with the Board their current tax preparation business address, telephone number and a year-round address and telephone number where clients and the Board may contact the licensee. Whenever any of the information required in this section changes, the licensee shall notify the Board in writing within 15 business days.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 673
Stats. Implemented:
Hist.: TSE 1-1985, f. & ef. 1-15-85; BTP 2-2007, f. 1-12-07, cert. ef. 2-1-07; BTP 1-2008, f. 1-14-08, cert. ef. 2-1-08; BTP 1-2009, f. & cert. ef. 2-5-09; BTP 1-2010, f. 1-19-10, cert. ef. 2-1-10; BTP 1-2011, f. 1-24-11, cert. ef. 2-1-11; BTP 1-2014, f. 1-16-14, cert. ef. 2-1-14

800-010-0042

Communications

A licensee shall, when requested, respond in writing to communications from the Board within 15 business days of the mailing of such communications to the address furnished to the Board by licensee.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 673.730(5)
Stats. Implemented:
Hist.: TSE 2-1982, f. & ef. 5-10-82; TSE 1-1985, f. & ef. 1-15-85; TSE 3-1995, f. & cert. ef. 5-5-95; BTP 1-2009, f. & cert. ef. 2-5-09

800-010-0045

Experience and Competence

A licensee shall not prepare tax returns or give advice that is outside the field of the licensee's experience and competence without the assistance of a person who is competent in the area of concern.

Stat. Auth.:
Stats. Implemented:
Hist.: TSE 6, f. & ef. 1-5-76; TSE 1-1985, f. & ef. 1-15-85

800-010-0050

Advertising and Solicitation

(1) As used in this rule, "advertise" and "advertising" means any form of printed, broadcast or electronic material that makes known professional income tax services. This includes, but is not limited to, business cards and stationery, and all web and e-commerce advertising of an individual or tax preparation business.

(2) No licensee or tax preparation business shall advertise or solicit clients in a false, fraudulent, deceptive or misleading manner.

(3) All advertising must include the name of a firm that has complied with ORS 673.643 or state the name of the firms Designated Licensed Tax Consultant.

(a) Only a person holding a valid Tax Consultant's License may use the designation "L.T.C.", "LTC" or the titles "Licensed Tax Consultant" or "Tax Consultant."

(b) Only a person holding a valid Tax Preparer's License may use the designation "L.T.P.", "LTP" or the title "Licensed Tax Preparer".

(4) All advertising must be reviewed and approved in advance by the designated Licensed Tax Consultant. The designated Licensed Tax Consultant and the designating tax preparation business shall each be responsible for the business's compliance with the provisions of this rule.

(5) No licensee shall advertise to give a discount unless:

(a) The discount is based upon a basic fee schedule posted in public view in the licensee's place of business; and

(b) The fees on the posted basic fee schedule are the usual and customary charges of the tax preparation business; and

(c) The basic fee schedule must include the minimum fees charged for at least the following forms and schedules: 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, Sch. A, Sch. B, Sch. EIC, Form 2441, Schedule 8812, Oregon 40 & 40N & 40P.

(6) All business advertising must include the board issued business registration number of the firm written as: “OBTP#” or the license number of the firm’s Designated Licensed Tax Consultant written as: “LTC#”.

(7) All individual advertising must include licensee’s board issued LTC or LTP license number written as: “LTC#” or “LTP#”.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 673.663
Stats. Implemented:
Hist.: TSE 6, f. & ef. 1-5-76; TSE 2-1981(Temp), f. 2-18-81, ef. 2-19-81; TSE 3-1981, f. 7-22-81, ef. 7-23-81; TSE 4-1981, f. & ef. 8-13-81; TSE 3-1982, f. & ef. 11-19-82; TSE 1-1985, f. & ef. 1-15-85; TSE 3-1986, f. & ef. 7-14-86; TSE 2-1990, f. & cert. ef. 1-25-90; TSE 2-1992, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-92; BTSE 1-2001, f. & cert. ef. 4-19-01; BTP 2-2007, f. 1-12-07, cert. ef. 2-1-07; BTP 1-2010, f. 1-19-10, cert. ef. 2-1-10; BTP 1-2011, f. 1-24-11, cert. ef. 2-1-11; BTP 3-2011, f. 6-3-11, cert. ef. 7-1-12; BTP 1-2014, f. 1-16-14, cert. ef. 2-1-14

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