Code Of Professional Conduct

Link to law: http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/pages/rules/oars_800/oar_800/800_010.html
Published: 2015

The Oregon Administrative Rules contain OARs filed through November 15, 2015

 

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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 at each tax preparation
business and whose responsibilities include the supervision of the preparation of
all personal income tax returns for another and for valuable consideration.
(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 670.310(1) & 673.730(10)
Stats. Implemented: ORS 673.605
–673.990
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; BTP 1-2015,
f. 1-16-15, cert. ef. 2-1-15
800-010-0017
Incompetence and Negligence
Under ORS 673.700(3):
(1) A licensee is incompetent
when he/she has engaged in conduct where a lack of ability, fitness, or knowledge
to perform his/her professional functions is evident.
(2) A licensee is negligent
when he/she has engaged in conduct detrimental to the client.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 670.310(1) & 673.730(10)
Stats. Implemented: ORS 673.700(3)
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; BTP 1-2015, f. 1-16-15,
cert. ef. 2-1-15
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; or
(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 673.310(1), 673.730(7)
& 673.730(10)
Stats. Implemented: ORS 673.730(7),
673.605 - 673.990
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; BTP 1-2015, f. 1-16-15, cert. ef. 2-1-15
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 673.310(1), 673.730(7)
& 673.730(10)
Stats. Implemented: ORS 673.730(7),
673.605 - 673.990
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; BTP 1-2015,
f. 1-16-15, cert. ef. 2-1-15
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 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:
(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 673.310(1), 673.730(7)
& 673.730(10)
Stats. Implemented: ORS 673.730(7),
673.605 - 673.990
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; BTP 1-2015,
f. 1-16-15, cert. ef. 2-1-15
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 (preparer name)
on all federal and state personal income tax returns or electronic filing documents
prepared by the licensee. This should be in addition to 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 673.310(1), 673.730(7)
& 673.730(10)
Stats. Implemented: ORS 673.730(7),
673.605 - 673.990
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; BTP 1-2015, f. 1-16-15, cert.
ef. 2-1-15
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 either the name of a firm that has complied with ORS 673.643 or the name
of the firm’s 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, Sch. 8812, Oregon 40,
40N and 40P.
(6) All business advertising
must include the Board issued business registration number of the firm written as:
“Board of Tax Practitioners#” and/or “OBTP#” or the license
number of the firm’s Designated Licensed Tax Consultant written as: “Licensed
Tax Consultant#” and/or “LTC#”.
(7) All individual advertising
must include licensee’s Board issued LTC or LTP license number written as:
“Licensed Tax Consultant#” and/or “LTC#” or “Licensed
Tax Preparer# and/or “LTP#”.
Stat. Auth.: 673.730(7) & 673.730(10)
Stats. Implemented: ORS 673.730(7),
673.605 - 673.990
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; BTP 1-2015, f. 1-16-15, cert.
ef. 2-1-15
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contained in the Administrative Order filed at the Archives Division,
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