Tax season is fast approaching, which means accountants are in high demand. Unfortunately, this busy time of year is the time when mistakes could be made that may jeopardize your continued ability to work in your field.
It is vitally important you avoid any intentional or negligent actions that could result in the loss or suspension of your accounting license so you can continue to make a good living in the career where you have worked so hard to establish yourself as a professional.
If you do find yourself facing any accusations of wrongdoing or if you are under investigation and at risk of disciplinary action, it is also essential to get the proper legal help in order to ensure you are fighting the action against you and protecting your license.
Tips for Protecting You CPA License During Tax Season
The most important thing any CPA can do is to understand the most common reason why disciplinary action is taken against accounting or tax professionals. Some of the common reasons an accountant faces an investigation and disciplinary action include:
- Any acts of fraud or dishonesty while performing professional duties as a CPA or as a tax professional.
- Gross negligence in performing work for individuals or businesses who are your clients.
- Charging fees under fraudulent conditions, including charging clients for services that have not been performed.
- Conviction for a felony criminal offense or for certain criminal offenses involving dishonesty or fraud.
- Filing fraudulent tax returns on behalf of clients or failing to file client returns.
In many situations, there are grey areas and it is difficult to determine if an accountant who has been accused of doing something wrong actually did violate best practices or violate the law. For example, accountants largely rely upon the information that is provided to them by the clients who they are serving. If a client provides false and misleading information and an accountant files a fraudulent tax return, this does not make the accountant complicit in an attempt to defraud and it should not be considered to be an act of dishonesty on the part of the accounting professional. It must be determined if the accountant was complicit in the fraud.
Accountants who are under investigation or who are accused of any type of wrongdoing will have the opportunity to defend themselves before the disciplinary board and to make their case that they followed the best practices of their profession and thus should not face any penalties for the wrongdoing they have been accused of.
If allegations of any type are made against you in relation to your professional services as a CPA or a tax professional, you need to react swiftly to vigorously defend your professional license. Get professional legal help as soon as possible so you can develop an effective strategy to fight accusations that jeopardize your career.