Washington (Dec. 30, 2003) -- The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced measures expected to have a chilling effect on the use of opinion letters drafted by accountants and attorneys, amid other measures aimed at increasing the transparency and disclosure of information to the IRS.

The agencies announced proposed changes to Circular 230 that set out specific requirements for tax opinions provided by attorneys and accountants. The proposed changes describe best practices for tax advisors and call on professional services firms to put in place procedures that are consistent with the best practices. The changes would obligate tax advisors to inform clients explicitly about what protections, if any, an opinion letter provides to the client. For example, tax advisors would have to advise clients about issues that the opinion doesn’t address and warn the client if the opinion won’t protect the client against penalties.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access