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CPA Senior Tax Accounting And SSTS Information

CPA Senior Tax Accounting

CPA Senior Tax Accounting: The AICPA Tax Section is the home for CPA tax professionals seeking the edge they need to achieve success for themselves and their clients. Members find exclusive support in our practice tools, timely news, and guidance in implementing best practices. Tax Section membership keeps CPA tax practitioners ahead of trends in tax, and is a strategic advantage in demonstrating their value as the most trusted providers of professional tax services.

CPA Senior Tax Accounting: CPA Senior Tax Accounting: Tax Reform

The AICPA Tax Reform Resource Center will help you make sense of new and proposed legislation as it becomes available.

CPA Senior Tax Accounting: Resource Library

Your main access point for information, guidance, resources, and practice aids specifically designed for the tax practitioner.

CPA Senior Tax Accounting: Member Connect

Stay connected with the Tax Section, trending issues, and your peers via social media in our updated Community.

CPA Senior Tax Accounting

CPA tax practitioners are subject to many different standards and ethics rules, including AICPA enforceable tax ethics, Circular 230, the Internal Revenue Code, state licensing boards and other regulatory agencies, professional associations, and various other laws and regulations. This page provides guidance on tax ethics and professional standards for tax practitioners, as well as practice aids and resources to help members elevate their practices and maintain the highest ethical standards.

Visit Professional Ethics for other ethics-related guidance and resources, or view the complete list of the standards and statements that the AICPA develops, issues, and enforces.

CPA Senior Tax Accounting

The AICPA’s Statements on Standards for Tax Services (SSTSs) are enforceable tax practice standards for members of the AICPA. The SSTSs apply to all members regardless of the jurisdictions in which they practice and the types of taxes with respect to which they are providing services. The SSTSs and interpretations delineate members’ responsibilities to taxpayers, the public, the government, and the profession. They are intended to be part of an ongoing process of articulating standards of tax practice for members.

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.

The SSTSs were originally issued in 2000 and were updated in 2009. The full text of the current SSTSs are available below, along with additional guidance and answers to common questions.

CPA Senior Tax Accounting
SSTSs (full document): Includes all seven SSTSs, along with the history and ongoing process.Standards

  • SSTS No. 1, Tax Return Positions: Sets forth the applicable standards for members when recommending tax return positions, or preparing or signing tax returns filed with any taxing authority. This statement also addresses a member’s obligation to advise a taxpayer of relevant tax return disclosure responsibilities and potential penalties.
  • SSTS No. 2, Answers to Questions on Returns: Sets forth the applicable standards for members when signing the preparer’s declaration on a tax return if one or more questions on the return have not been answered.
  • SSTS No. 3, Certain Procedural Aspects of Preparing Returns: Sets forth the applicable standards for members concerning the obligation to examine or verify certain supporting data or to consider information related to another taxpayer when preparing a tax return.
  • SSTS No. 4, Use of Estimates: Sets forth the applicable standards for members when using estimates in the preparation of a tax return.
  • SSTS No. 5, Departure From a Position Previously Concluded in an Administrative Proceeding or Court Decision: Sets forth the applicable standards for members in recommending a tax return position that departs from the position determined in an administrative proceeding or in a court decision with respect to the taxpayer’s prior return.
  • SSTS No. 6, Knowledge of Error: Return Preparation and Administrative Proceedings: Sets forth the applicable standards for members who becomes aware of: (a) an error in a taxpayer’s previously filed tax return, (b) an error in a return that is the subject of an administrative proceeding, or (c) a taxpayer’s failure to file a required tax return.
  • SSTS No. 7, Form and Content of Advice to Taxpayers: Sets forth the applicable standards for members concerning certain aspects of providing advice to a taxpayer and considers the circumstances in which a member has a responsibility to communicate with a taxpayer when subsequent developments affect advice previously provided.


  • Notice to Readers: Read to ensure you understand the history and context of how to apply the interpretations.
  • Preface: Provides descriptions of reporting standards and other background guidance.
  • Interpretation No. 1-1, Reporting and Disclosure Standards, of SSTS No. 1: Provides that a member should not recommend a tax return position or take a position on a tax return that the member prepares unless that position satisfies applicable reporting and disclosure standards.
  • Interpretation No. 1.2, Tax Planning, of SSTS No. 1: Clarifies existing standards, recognizing the compelling need for a comprehensive interpretation of a member’s responsibilities in connection with tax planning.

CPA Senior Tax Accounting

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