May 05, 2022 The Tax Lawyer

Tax Opinion Policies and Procedures

Vol. 75, No. 3 - Spring 2022

by Linda Galler

Abstract

This Article summarizes and comments on a 2021 survey by the American College of Tax Counsel (ACTC) on the policies and procedures followed by law and accounting firms in drafting tax opinions. The Article provides background on the contexts in which tax opinions are issued and considerations that are relevant to the composition of such opinions; defines and distinguishes among the levels of assurance at which tax opinions are typically provided; and presents an overview of ethical rules and related considerations, including Circular 230 and the Code’s preparer penalty provisions, implicated in the process of drafting and issuing tax opinions. The Article concludes by making several suggestions to professional firms that are engaged in establishing or reviewing their own opinion processes and to ACTC on how to move forward with its effort to provide useful information and materials to tax professionals.

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