Undocumented CI

Undocumented workers, United States taxes, and the responsibility of tax preparers

Ellen J. Lippman, University of Portland
January 19, 2021
North America
Ethics & Social Justice, Accounting & Finance
3 pages
Undocumented workers, Tax, code of conduct, VITA, Undocumented workers
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.68)
Average rating: 

As part of the Personal Taxation course Vivian took at her university, she was required to volunteer in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, an IRS program that funds local organizations to train and supervise volunteers who provide free tax return assistance to the elderly and low-income individuals. Initially Vivian felt well prepared for the task, until she met clients who used a false social security number to obtain employment. While she wanted to help them file their tax returns, she worried about implications resulting from their use of the false numbers. Would her assistance helping them prepare their tax return made her culpable in their crimes? What authoritative literature on accountant responsibility could help her decide what to do?

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Identify the tax requirements for the filing of tax returns
  2. Analyze the tax return protections for filers and in particular undocumented workers
  3. Evaluate existing accounting codes of conduct for guidance to tax preparers when the return includes false information
  4. Analyze the multi-disciplinary issues that influence the tax filing behavior of undocumented workers and the tax policy benefits given or denied them