On November 17 and 18, the NYSSCPA co-sponsored the Third Annual IRS Representation Conference. The event covered a wide range of issues—from the routine to the exceptional—encountered by CPAs when representing taxpayers before the IRS. Participants were drawn from a number of accounting and legal firms as well as the IRS, Justice Department, and Federal Court System. Eric Green and Jeffrey Sklarz from Green and Sklarz LLC and Sid Kess from Citrin Cooperman organized the conference and moderated a number of the sessions.

The following articles cover the highlights from the conference. The first panel, “Dealing with Nonfilers” begins with the issues confronting a CPA with new clients that have not filed their taxes for years prior. “Gift Tax Returns & IRS Examination” uses a sample fact pattern to illustrate the issues surrounding gift tax returns and the necessary disclosures. The third article, “Preparer Penalties” discusses the civil and criminal penalties preparers could face if they violate professional ethics rules. “Receipts? What Receipts?” covers the all too common issue of taxpayers who lack the information necessary to properly prepare a return. “Bankruptcy versus Offer in Compromise” presents the pros and cons of these two approaches to resolving the issues facing taxpayers with large tax liabilities. Finally, “Criminal Investigation and Prosecution of Tax Preparers” delves into the worst-case scenarios for CPAs: preparer penalties and potential criminal charges related to ethical or legal violations in preparing returns.