Twenty Canons of The IPT Code of Ethics
The Institute for Professionals in Taxation® has established this Code of Ethics to govern the conduct of members in connection with the performance of their professional duties as tax professionals and as members of IPT.
As tax professionals, the members of IPT have an obligation for the competence and integrity of their work and conduct.
Each member of IPT is bound by this Code of Ethics and agrees to report to the Committee on Professional Ethics any violation of the Code known to such member.
An IPT member having supervisory responsibility for other tax professionals should make those subordinates aware of this Code of Ethics and instruct them to adhere to its provisions.
The Committee on Professional Ethics, and in the event of an appeal, the Board of Governors, interprets the provisions of this Code in rendering opinions and in conducting investigations and hearings pursuant to regulations and procedures established by the Board.
- IT IS UNETHICAL to engage in any conduct that discredits IPT, its membership, or the tax profession, including unprofessional behavior towards an IPT member or staff.
- IT IS UNETHICAL to engage in any activity that results in a conviction of any crime committed in connection with the member's involvement in a tax matter.
- IT IS UNETHICAL to operate beyond the boundaries of an agreed relationship with an employer or client.
- IT IS UNETHICAL for a member of IPT to state or imply that such member represents a person that the member does not represent, or to file any document on behalf of such person without authorization.
- IT IS UNETHICAL to disclose confidential employer or client documents or information except with the consent of the employer or client or as required by law.
- IT IS UNETHICAL to offer or give anything of value to a public official to induce that official to take any action with respect to a tax matter.
- IT IS UNETHICAL to offer or give anything of material value to an individual in an employment, advisory or representative relationship with a business to induce that individual to recommend the purchase of goods or services by the business, and IT IS UNETHICAL for such individuals to receive such value.
- IT IS UNETHICAL to pay, retain, or accept a share of a fee or other monetary compensation for the referral of a person to another for the provision of tax services in which the recipient of such compensation does not participate, unless advance notice is given to the person for whom such services are to be performed. The amount of the compensation for the referral need not be disclosed unless requested by the person for whom the services are to be performed.
- IT IS UNETHICAL to solicit a tax assignment by assuring a specific result or to solicit, assign, accept or perform a tax assignment that is conditioned upon producing a preconceived opinion or conclusion.
- IT IS UNETHICAL to initiate or pursue an appeal, protest, refund claim or other action on behalf of a taxpayer for which there is known to be no basis in fact or law. When the basis is unknown, the determination of whether a basis in fact or law exists must be made as soon as reasonably possible.
- IT IS UNETHICAL for a member, in the performance of a tax assignment, to fail to exercise independent judgment in advising and representing a client.
- IT IS UNETHICAL in the performance of a tax assignment to knowingly furnish or knowingly rely upon inaccurate, deceitful or misleading information, or to knowingly withhold information which lawfully should be revealed.
- IT IS UNETHICAL to prepare or use in any manner, for any purpose, a resume or statement of professional qualifications that is misleading or false, or to reference a member's designation concerning a specific discipline for which that designation has not been attained and held in good standing.
- IT IS UNETHICAL in promoting a tax practice or soliciting tax assignments to make misleading or false representations.
- IT IS UNETHICAL to use client listings or references without specific authorization.
- IT IS UNETHICAL to state or imply IPT authorization, endorsement or approval of any business, product or service.
- IT IS UNETHICAL in any representation of fact to IPT, in a membership application, renewal form, or otherwise, to knowingly furnish inaccurate, deceitful, or misleading information, or to knowingly withhold material information.
- IT IS UNETHICAL for a member having supervisory responsibility for another tax professional to knowingly authorize, direct, permit or ratify any subordinate's act or omission that is declared unethical by this Code, regardless whether the subordinate is a member of IPT.
- IT IS UNETHICAL to represent a client if such representation would be, or would risk being, adverse to the interests of another client unless each affected client gives informed written consent to such representation.
- IT IS UNETHICAL to have, acquire, or seek a personal interest in a matter that is adverse to the interests of a client or employer.
[Adopted by the Board of Governors on September 28, 1976, and amended on April 28, 1991, November 9, 2002, March 6, 2004, November 2, 2008 (the November 2, 2008 changes became effective January 1, 2009), November 8, 2020, and June 28, 2023.]