Blog #85: IRS Says Goodbye to a Tiny Bit of Its Red Tape

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Bob Ritter's Blog 85 the IRS says goodbye to a tiny bit of its red tape image

Recognize the text below or something like it?

The following statement is required by IRS regulations (31 CFR Part 10, §10.35): Any tax advice contained in this material (including any attachments or referred material) was not intended, or written to be used, and cannot be used by you or any other person or entity for the purpose of avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code.

It, or something very like it, has been a part of virtually every business email, letter, and presentation rendered after June 20, 2005, that is written by lawyers and CPAs as well as financial professionals.

Well, no more.  The IRS says Circular 230 is no longer necessary -- but it does so in sort of a grumpy way.

“I’m here to tell you to get that jurat ¹, that disclaimer, off your e-mails.  It’s no longer necessary.  I just don’t want you blaming all that extra garbage at the end of your e-mails on the Internal Revenue Service or the Office of Professional Responsibility,” said Karen L. Hawkins, Director of IRS Office of Professional Responsibility, to practitioners at a June 20 tax conference sponsored by the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies in New York.

The IRS’s chief counsel, William J. Wilkins, seconded Ms. Hawkins statement more politely, telling practitioners in a keynote address that the “Circular 230 legend is not merely dead, it’s really most sincerely dead.  So please omit.”

What apparently ticked the IRS off was the underlined portion above which, while not required, was often added to indicate that the IRS is responsible for requiring the Circular 230 disclosure.  Programmed by most to appear automatically, Circular 230 appears so often in so many unrelated places (e.g., e-mails to Mom and Dad, social media posts), it’s kind of like bird poop on your roof -- largely ignored by all.

So, as advised by Mr. Wilkins, “. . . it’s really most sincerely dead.  So please omit.”

Note:  The IRS says that elimination of the Circular 230 disclaimer will save practitioners and their clients at least $5,333,200.  That’s a pretty precise number, but there is nothing provided by the IRS to back it up.  That’s kind of hard to believe though -- it took us all of 20 seconds to remove it from InsMark’s email master.  How clients can benefit financially because their advisers have eliminated the disclaimer is beyond me.  My guess is it’s probably fluff to make the withdrawal look like a generous benefit extended by the IRS.  (You think?)

¹ Jurat:  The certificate of an officer that a written instrument was sworn to by the individual who signed it.

InsMark Symposium

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