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OPR Tax Preparer Penalties

Former Senior OPR Enforcement Lawyer Kevin E. Thorn Helps Tax Preparers Who Have Become the Subject of an Investigation by the IRS’ Office of Professional Responsibility

The IRS’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is a government agency charged with investigating allegations of misconduct involving numerous professionals, including attorneys, law enforcement officials and tax preparers, as well as their individual licenses. The OPR takes action when tax preparers are suspected of violating federal rules, often imposing financial and criminal penalties.

Kevin E. Thorn is the only former Senior OPR Enforcement lawyer who is now in private practice, giving him unparalleled insight into when and how the OPR imposes penalties – and how to avoid severe financial, civil and criminal penalties. Attorney Thorn, along with the lawyers of Thorn Law Group, put this experience to work for clients. If you are a tax preparer currently under investigation by the OPR or are worried you may be hit with costly and potentially career-ending penalties, contact our firm for help today.

How the OPR Tracks Tax Preparer Errors

The IRS has imposed a myriad of requirements for tax preparers to make sure that problems with preparers are easily identified and investigated by the Office of Professional Responsibility. Tax preparers must be registered with the IRS if they are going to counsel taxpayers and sign returns they file on behalf of taxpaying clients. Tax preparers are also mandated by the IRS to obtain a preparer identification number (PTIN), which makes it easier for the agency to identify exactly what returns and paperwork are being submitted by a particular tax preparer.

The OPR can conduct a detailed investigation into the returns submitted by a tax preparer, including reviewing the preparer's background to ensure the submission of personal, employment and business tax returns. In some cases, the OPR has also corresponded with tax preparers about obligations and has even sent agents to find out if preparers are following federal rules and regulations for preparing and submitting returns.

The Office of Professional Responsibility monitors preparers and looks for signs of a possible violation, such as:

  • Failing to conduct due diligence to make sure those claiming the earned income tax credit are eligible
  • Failing to keep records of returns and provide copies of said returns to taxpayers
  • Failing to provide a required PTIN number
  • Aiding and abetting tax-paying clients in understating their tax liabilities

What Types of Penalties Can Be Imposed by the Office of Professional Responsibility on Tax Preparers?

A tax preparer who faces OPR penalties can have his or her career jeopardized and may never be able to practice as a tax preparer again. The OPR can seek criminal penalties against tax preparers for certain egregious violations of IRS rules and regulations. In most cases, however, the OPR will seek to impose civil penalties on tax preparers who don't follow the rules. These civil penalties can still be very serious.

Fines are one possibility, while a private reprimand, censure and suspension or permanent loss of a license to continue acting as a tax preparer can also occur. Under many circumstances, it is not just the preparer but also his or her firm that is subject to penalties.

Avoid OPR Tax Preparer Penalties – Contact a Former Senior IRS OPR Attorney Today

If you are a tax preparer and concerned that you may be at risk for penalties imposed by the Office of Professional Responsibility, it is important that you take prompt action. You want to minimize or avoid any potential consequences that may result from an alleged failure to fulfill professional obligations. You especially want to ensure you do everything possible to avoid any criminal penalties that the OPR may seek against you.  

As the only former Senior OPR Enforcement lawyer in private practice, Kevin E. Thorn has unique experience in dealing with the agency and a complete understanding of how the IRS’s Office of Professional Responsibility operates. His knowledge is invaluable to tax preparers who are being investigated by the OPR or who have been accused of professional misconduct.

Kevin E. Thorn can help you cope with an OPR investigation and will fight tirelessly to prevent reprimand, censure, loss of license to practice and other dire consequences the OPR may impose. Call (202) 349-4033 today to find out more about how Kevin E. Thorn can protect your rights as a tax preparer and help you avoid serious OPR penalties.

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