• The IRS Reminds You To Kindly Remove That Annoying Circular 230 Disclaimer From Your Emails

    By | June 20, 2014

    The word from NJSCPA:

    According to a story published on TaxAnalysts.com, the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility will send letters asking practitioners to stop using Circular 230 disclaimers saying the disclaimer is required. Many practitioners continue to use the Circular 230 disclaimer in their emails even though the IRS finalized regulations that remove the covered opinion rules, IRS Office of Professional Responsibility Director Karen Hawkins said on a Tax Talk Today webcast.

    The Circular 230 disclaimer is so pervasive I even have press releases sent from accounting firm PR departments with it at the bottom. Gee, thank you for reminding me that I shouldn't rely on a press release about your new office in Des Moines to avoid IRS penalties.

    Basically, the IRS found that slapping the disclaimer on the bottom of emails didn't actually achieve anything useful, and they estimate the rule change will save tax practitioners a minimum of $5,333,200:

    Former §10.35 provided detailed rules for tax opinions that were “covered opinions” under Circular 230. As discussed in the notice of proposed rulemaking, Treasury and the IRS revisited the covered opinion rules because their application increased the burden on practitioners and clients, without necessarily increasing the quality of the tax advice that the client received.

    Commenters on the proposed regulations overwhelmingly supported the elimination of former §10.35 because the former rules were burdensome and provided minimal benefit to taxpayers. Commenters agreed that the rules in former §10.35 contributed to overuse, as well as misleading use, of disclaimers on most practitioner communications even when those communications did not constitute tax advice.

    So, expect a nice note from your pals at the IRS to nuke your little disclaimer.


    • usr

      Thank GOD

    • RandomExDeloitter

      I disclaim this disclaimer.

    • Tax Nerd

      Some firms have those disclaimers added by the server whenever an email is sent to a non-firm domain, or something. I don’t have it in my email signature, but I see it when clients reply. I think I’ve had one person, ever, ask about it.

    • EeWhy

      I disclaim nothing, ever. Also I never give tax advice.

    • Capt. Moran

      I never understood the signatures after I researched them. Why would any accountant worth his salt really give a covered opinion via email? Clients pay us so much for being correct and for service. Sending out covered opinions via email is just crappy.

      • Clients are stupid

        That was the whole point of the disclaimer. We know an e-mail answering a question isn’t a covered opinion, but Clients don’t know the difference between a covered opinion and an e-mail.

    • Big4Veteran

      Fuck you, IRS. Free speech. I’ll say whatever I want at the end of my messages.

      — Big4Veteran, CGMA (Inactive)

    • Triumph!

      That’s a nice disclaimer…
      For the IRS to POOP on!!!!


    • I’d rather post as guest

      “They estimate the rule change will save tax practitioners a minimum of $5,333,200:”

      What in the almighty fuck are they talking about? What will save money? Not having a automatic email server automatically add it to every email so you do not even think about it? Email does not cost money per word IRS.

      • “Email does not cost money per word IRS.” — if it did, I’m sure they’d figure out a way to tax each email sent.

        ANYHOO, per the report, the IRS figured out the “savings” is in (wo)man hours… for those 3 sole practitioners who hand type their disclaimers?

        So, basically they pulled that number out of their ass (but you knew that).