please submit replies of 200-250 words with two citations.when replying try to address different aspects of the ethical argument. Often, these situations are not as black and white as they seem, particularly when responsibilities such as independence and confidentiality come into play.
Ephesians 5:11 states, “ take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them”(ESV). Along the same lines, God said to Paul in Acts 18:9-10, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no on will attack you to harm you” (ESV). As Christians, when we see corruption, we should not be afraid to expose it. This is a very sad situation where Clara’s state licensed attorney is acting in a predatory manner against a widow who may be naïve regarding financial matters. Her attorney intends to exploit Clara for their personal financial gain. Charles’ client is the attorney. Charles has a moral obligation to share with Clara what the normal fees for an estate are for both a CPA’s role and the attorney’s role.
Gill & Sawyers, 2021, explains that Circular 230 is “designed to provide protection to taxpayers and the IRS by requiring tax practitioners to be technically competent and to adhere to ethical standards” (p. 7). Circular 230 § 10.27(a) explains a “practitioner may not charge an unconscionable fee in connection with any matter before the Internal Revenue Service” (Code of Federal Regulations). This section comes to play because it is industry norm to charge 3-5% of the estate and thus would be unconscionable to charge 17%. Under Circular 230 § 10.3, subpart A, a practitioner who may practice before the IRS is defined to include attorneys. Thus, Clara’s legal counsel should be following the same Treasury Department Regulations as a CPA in this instance. This answer is not just about Clara’s legal counsel, it is also about what Charles should do. It would also be unreasonable for a CPA to charge or accept $10,000 to complete simple tax work that most other CPAs would charge a couple of hundred dollars for (Gill & Sawyers, 2021). Charles cannot accept that amount of money and should charge her his standard rate for the filing of forms she requires.
Circular 230 § 10.1(a)(1) explains that the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) has the authority to handle discipline regarding violations against Circular 230 (Code of Federal Regulations). The OPR can accept complaints directly from the public or “from other tax practitioners who may be aware of a peer’s unprofessional conduct” (Internal Revenue Service, 2021). After Charles gathers the evidence of the attorney’s apparent attempt at violating Circular 230, they should report the matter to the OPR so it can be further investigated. The director of OPR, Hawkins, issued a news release explaining how Mr. Tiongson was disbarred by the Administrative Law Judge for Circular 230 violations, namely charging unconscionable fees, among other things (RIA Checkpoint, 2013). Charles should not stand by while the attorney is taking advantage of people who do not know better. We need to assist in getting justice for those that Clara’s attorney may have financially abused in the past by reporting this apparent attempt at violating Circular 230 to the OPR. If Clara’s attorney is trying to take advantage of Clara, it is likely they have taken advantage of others before Clara.