Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Accountants must send warnings with emails that they send to clients informing them that the information given in the email should not be construed to be advice or relied upon. Accountants have started this practice to avoid penalties in response to the regulations under Circular 230 on "Written opinions." The reason that accountants use the warnings is because emails qualify as a writing under Circular 230.
This practice is likely to not continue for much longer. According to Accounting Today, "[t]he service has issued new proposed regulations that totally revamp the area of written advice and eliminate the need for these disclaimers generally." It is important to note that these regulations are only proposed regulations. If the proposed regulations are enacted, the regulations would provide several important changes to the law.
See Jack Surgent, Is This the Death of the Circ 230 Disclaimer?, Accounting Today, Oct. 16, 2012.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.