Rules Governing Authority to Practice before the IRS

There are very strict rules about who can practice before the IRS. These rules are discussed in Circular 230, Regulations Governing Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service, which is a compilation of Treasury regulations. (Circular 230 is available at

Circular 230 regulates the individuals who are eligible to practice before the IRS and what actions those individuals are allowed to perform on behalf of taxpayers.

What Is Circular 230?

Federal law gives the Secretary of the Treasury the authority to oversee the practice of representing taxpayers before the Department of the Treasury. Under this authority, the IRS has created Circular 230, a collection of Treasury regulations governing the practice of representatives before the IRS.

Broadly speaking, the IRS allows individuals to practice before it only if they have demonstrated good character, good reputation, and competency to advise and assist taxpayers in presenting their cases. These are the necessary qualifications that enable an individual to provide valuable services to taxpayers.

Two organizations within the IRS help to regulate and oversee the conduct of practice before the IRS:

1. Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). The OPR establishes and enforces standards of competence, integrity, and conduct for tax professionals (enrolled agents, attorneys, certified public accountants, and other individuals and groups ...

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