Standards of conduct
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STANDARDS OF CONDUCT. Pub 4012Intro Pages Pub 6744VITA/TCE Test Intro. VOLUNTEER Standards of Conduct 6744 Intro. Preparers required to exercise due diligence in preparation of tax returns

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STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

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Standards of conduct

STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

Pub 4012Intro Pages

Pub 6744VITA/TCE Test Intro


Volunteer standards of conduct 6744 intro

VOLUNTEER Standards of Conduct6744 Intro

Preparers required to exercise due diligence in preparation of tax returns

IRS has responsibility for oversight to protect tax program integrity and maintain taxpayer confidence

Volunteers can be removed, sites closed, IRS support & funds discontinued by IRS

Clients may be subject to examination, litigation or criminal penalties if false return


Unethical defined 6744 intro

UNETHICAL DEFINED6744 Intro

  • IRS-SPEC defines unethical as not conforming to agreed standards of moral conduct, especially within a particular profession

  • In most cases, unethical behavior is acted upon with the intent to disregard the established laws, procedures, or set policies

  • An error or omission that was unknowing is not considered an unethical action


Standards of conduct 6744 intro

STANDARDS OF CONDUCT6744 Intro

Form 13615, Volunteer Standards of Conduct Agreement, applies to all conduct and ethical behavior in VITA/TCE Program

ALL volunteers must agree to Standards of Conduct, pass a test, & sign Volunteer Agreement prior to working at a VITA or TCE site

Responsibility of all volunteers is to provide highest quality, best service to clients


Quality site requirements 4012 intro

QUALITY SITE REQUIREMENTS4012 Intro

  • Volunteers required to adhere to QSRs (see Pub 4012) re:

    #1, Certification

    #2, Intake/Interview Process

    #3, Quality Review Process

    #4, Reference Materials

    #5, Volunteer Agreement

    #6, Timely Filing


Qsrs cont d 4012 intro

QSRs, cont’d4012 Intro

# 7, Title VI – AARPs D143, Free Tax Help Poster displayed at all AARP/TCE sites

# 8, Accurate Site IDNumber on all returns

# 9, Correct E-File ID Number on all returns

#10, Security, Privacy and Confidentiality

  • Equipment and tax data secured

  • Passwords never posted near computer

  • TaxWise/encryption exited if not in area


Six standards of conduct 6744 intro

SIX STANDARDS OF CONDUCT6744 Intro

Must follow Quality Site Requirements

Must not accept payment or solicit donations for federal or state tax return preparation

Must not solicit business from clients or use knowledge gained about them for direct or indirect benefit for self or others

May use aggregate data for promotion (e.g., # returns, schedules) but use of $$ amounts prohibited except aggregate for fund-raising


Six standards of conduct 6744 intro1

SIX STANDARDS OF CONDUCT6744 Intro

Must not knowingly prepare false returns

Must not engage in criminal, infamous, dishonest, notoriously disgraceful conduct, or any other conduct deemed to have a negative effect on the VITA/TCE Program

Must treat all taxpayers in a professional, courteous, and respectful manner


Volunteer protection act

Volunteer Protection Act

  • Protects volunteers from liability for negligent acts they perform within the scope of their responsibilities.

  • Only if they were acting within the scope of the program

  • Does NOT protect conduct that is willful or criminal, grossly negligent, reckless, conscious, or flagrant indifference to the rights of the individual harmed by the volunteer.


Violation of standards

VIOLATION OF STANDARDS

Client says has “cash income” not reported on 1099-MISC; volunteer replies does not need to report since IRS may not catch it

Volunteer includes child listed by client as dependent who was not a “qualified child or relative” since no-one else is claiming child

Volunteer offers to list own bank account for client without an account in order to provide client with faster refund


Violation of standards cont d

VIOLATION OF STANDARDS cont’d

Volunteer asks client (who is single) if s/he would consider meeting for a date

Client does not want to report a stock sale because cost basis equal to or higher than sales price; volunteer agrees not to but tells client that, if audited, amounts would need to be supported by documentation

Volunteer commits criminal act (not at site)

Volunteer argues/becomes angry with client


Aarp foundation standards package

AARP FOUNDATION STANDARDS PACKAGE

Volunteer Standards of Professionalism

Taxpayer Information and Responsibilities (available at the site)

Incident Review Protocol

(To be handled by local site leadership)


Example not reporting cash income

Example :Not Reporting Cash Income

  • Self-employed taxpayer has a 1099-MISC with income reported in Box 7;

  • Taxpayer tells volunteer they also have “cash income” not reported on a 1099-MISC;

  • Volunteer tells taxpayer he does not need to report the cash income because the IRS may not catch it;

  • Volunteer completes Schedule C without the cash income.


Example what should you do

Example:What Should You Do?

  • What Standard of Conduct was violated?


Example what should you do1

Example:What Should You Do?

  • What Standard of Conduct was violated?

    #4 (should not knowingly prepare a false return)

  • The local Coordinator should discuss the incident with immediate supervisor

  • AARP Foundation Incident Review Protocol should be followed


Example claiming a person as a dependent

Example:Claiming a Person as a Dependent

  • Taxpayer lists a person who was “not related” but a child of a personal friend who was not claiming this child as a dependent;

  • Volunteer stated that, although the child was not a “qualified child or relative”, since no one else is claiming the child it would be OK to put this person on the return;

  • Volunteer completes Form 1040 claiming the dependent.


Example what should you do2

Example:What Should You Do?

  • What Standard of Conduct was violated?


Example what should you do3

Example:What Should You Do?

  • What Standard of Conduct was violated?

    #4 (should not knowingly prepare a false return)

  • The local Coordinator should discuss the incident with immediate supervisor

  • AARP Foundation Incident Review Protocol should be followed


Example using volunteer s account

Example:Using Volunteer’s Account #

  • Taxpayers indicate on Part V of intake sheet that they have no bank account for direct deposit;

  • Taxpayer is entitled to refund of $1200;

  • Volunteer says direct deposit of refunds to bank account are available within 7-10 business days;

  • Volunteer says he could have refund deposited to his bank account and, when received, would contact taxpayer to give them their money;

  • Return completed with volunteer’s account #.

    You are the Local Coordinator, what do you do?


Example what should you do4

Example:What Should You Do?

  • What Standard of Conduct was violated?


Example what should you do5

Example:What Should You Do?

  • What Standard of Conduct was violated?

    #3 (should not solicit business from taxpayers I assist or use the knowledge I gained about them for any direct or indirect personal benefit for me or any other specific individual)

  • The local Coordinator should discuss the incident with immediate supervisor

  • AARP Foundation Incident Review Protocol should be followed


Example volunteer commits criminal act

Example:Volunteer Commits Criminal Act

  • Local Coordinator learns from other volunteers that volunteer has been arrested for a crime;

  • Volunteer comes to site and Local Coordinator speaks to him privately;

  • Local Coordinator learns volunteer got into an altercation at a bar and is out on bail;

  • Local Coordinator asks if it is true he had prior arrests and altercations with the law; the volunteer says it is true.

    You are the Local Coordinator, what do you do?


Example what should you do6

Example:What Should You Do?

  • What Standard of Conduct was violated?


Example what should you do7

Example:What Should You Do?

  • What Standard of Conduct was violated?

    #5 (should not engage in criminal, infamous, dishonest, notoriously disgraceful conduct, or any other conduct deemed to have a negative effect on the VITA/TCE Program)

  • The local Coordinator should discuss the incident with immediate supervisor

  • AARP Foundation Incident Review Protocol should be followed


Standards of conduct1

STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

Questions


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