Professional standards are the bedrock for validating reputational integrity in any profession. For AICPA members who provide tax services, the Statements on Standards for Tax Services (SSTSs) are the enforceable tax ethical standards that CPAs abide by. The SSTSs comprises seven statements with corresponding interpretations and explanations.
Compliance with these professional standards aids in reinforcing CPAs’ ethical responsibilities and reaffirms the public’s awareness of the professionalism associated with CPAs as well as the AICPA.
Under a 1999 resolution of AICPA Council, the Tax Executive Committee was authorized to promulgate professional practice standards with respect to tax services. These enforceable SSTSs apply to all tax services, and are designed to:
Identify and develop appropriate standards in providing tax services and promote their uniform application by CPAs.
Increase the understanding of CPA responsibilities by Treasury and IRS officials and encourage the development of similar standards for their personnel.
Foster increased public compliance with and confidence in our tax system through awareness of good standards of tax practice.
Enhance the CPA professional designation.
Becoming familiar with a CPA's professional responsibilities may ultimately save the CPA from time-consuming and costly litigation or disciplinary proceedings.
The AICPA’s Statements on Standards for Tax Services (SSTSs) are enforceable tax practice standards for members of the AICPA. Additional guidance is also found in the corresponding interpretations and frequently asked questions (FAQs). Access to the complete set of SSTSs and guidance are available in the AICPA’s Statements on Standards for Tax Services Library.