Ethics of Tax Lawyering

49 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2010 Last revised: 21 Mar 2015

See all articles by Michael Hatfield

Michael Hatfield

University of Washington - School of Law

Date Written: March 17, 2015


This is the 2015 revision of the CALI eLangdell casebook chapter. This chapter’s objective is to raise interesting tax ethics issues in practical contexts. There are notes and questions to prompt and guide discussions, and primary source materials to inform classroom discussions (e.g., cases, IRC provisions, and Circular 230 excerpts). The topics considered include: sharing the tax profession with CPAs; regulating tax lawyering through the criminal and civil penalties of the IRC, Circular 230; and malpractice standards, written tax opinions, tax shelters, mistakes by clients, mistakes by the IRS, and working with the IRS. Faculty may log in to the CALI website for teaching notes and more information.

Keywords: tax, ethics, professional responsibility, 7206, 6694, Circular 230, malpractice, fiduciary, attorney-client, tax shelter, written opinion, certified public accountant, CPA, treasury department, IRS, fraud, tax evasion, practice of law, unauthorized practice of law

JEL Classification: K34

Suggested Citation

Hatfield, Michael W., Ethics of Tax Lawyering (March 17, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Michael W. Hatfield (Contact Author)

University of Washington - School of Law ( email )

William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States
206-221-1535 (Phone)


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