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The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) At-a-Glance



The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) establishes and enforces consistent standards of competence, integrity and conduct for tax professionals (enrolled agents, attorneys, CPAs, and other individuals and groups covered by IRS Circular 230.

Strategic Priorities

OPR supports the IRS strategy to enhance enforcement of the tax law and to ensure that attorneys, accountants and other tax practitioners adhere to professional standards and follow the law.


Internal Revenue Service
Office of Professional Responsibility
SE:OPR, Room 7238/IR
1111 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20224

Phone Number: (202) 927-3397
Fax Number: (202) 622-2207

Management Team

Karen L. Hawkins — Acting Director
Carolyn Gray — Deputy Director
Don Svendsen — Senior Attorney Advisor
Patrick McDonough — Executive Director of the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries
Stan Oshinsky — Chief, Enforcement Branch
Lisa McLane — Chief, Case Development & Licensure 
Helene Bayder — Senior Operations Advisor
Robert Johnson — Project Manager
Ralph Lyons — Technical Project Manager

Program Background

The Office of Professional Responsibility provides education and outreach to the tax professional community and administers the enrolled agent exam. To support the IRS' strategic priorities, OPR ensures the integrity and credibility of the American tax system by working through tax professionals and with IRS operating divisions and functions. Circular 230 changes have created a need to increase awareness among tax professionals regarding the consequences of non-compliance. This awareness, plus increased enforcement and additional legislation, should help deter non-compliance.

Business Objectives

To increase the percentage of tax professionals who do adhere to professional standards and follow the law by:

  • Establishing procedures to identify and address the most egregious non-compliance cases
  • Strengthening partnerships with tax professionals
  • Establishing and communicating standards of conduct for tax practitioners
  • Establishing and maintaining a system of tax practitioner oversight
  • Rejuvenating the referral process
  • Publicizing actions taken to promote the integrity of the system and deter further non-compliance
  • Establishing and administering a system of sanctions for tax practitioners who fail to observe standards of conduct
  • Administering tests for individuals who want to become enrolled agents and process applications

OPR Stakeholders

Internal stakeholders include revenue officers, revenue agents, tax compliance officers, customer service representatives, field agents, IRS communicators and senior leadership.

External stakeholders include tax professionals, advocacy groups, software industry leaders, payroll providers, reporting agents, appraisal societies and associations, the media, and national associations like:

National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA), National Association of Computerized Tax Processors (NACTP), American Bar Association (ABA), National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP), National Society of Accountants (NSA), National Society of Tax Professionals (NSTP), American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), payroll providers, reporting agents and appraisal societies and associations. The media also plays a key role.

Related Item: Standards of Practice for Tax Professionals


Page Last Reviewed or Updated: April 30, 2009