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Circular 230 - A Banal Brouhaha

7 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2013 Last revised: 13 Dec 2013

John B. Payne

Garrison LawHouse PC

Date Written: December 26, 2007


This article will analyze whether a Circular 230 Legend, a disclaimer warning that information provided in the document may not be relied on to avoid tax penalties that is placed on letters, fax cover sheets, memoranda, and other documents by law and public accounting firms and others who advise taxpayers, is necessary for legitimate tax advice, written or not. Based on the definitions set forth in 31 C.F.R. § 10.35, the article explains why Circular 230 warnings are only necessary for tax advice that makes claims of legitimacy for transactions that equate to, or approach, tax evasion. The author argues that a Circular 230 Legend is generally a waste of ink (or electrons) and indicates that the document to which it is attached contains bad advice.

Keywords: Attorney, Accountant, Income Tax, Tax Advice, Tax Fraud, Tax Evasion, Advisers

JEL Classification: K14, K23, K29, K34, K42, M41

Suggested Citation

Payne, John B., Circular 230 - A Banal Brouhaha (December 26, 2007). Available at SSRN: or

John B. Payne (Contact Author)

Garrison LawHouse PC ( email )

1800 Grindley Park Street 6
Dearborn, MI 48124
United States
313 563 4900 (Phone)
313 562 3340 (Fax)


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