Why do accountants and attorneys have that annoying “Circular 230” disclaimer in all their emails?

The reason for the disclaimer is practitioners don’t want to run afoul of the “Covered Opinion” rules of Circular 230 (Circular 230 governs practice before the IRS for attorneys, CPAs and enrolled agents).

Currently, if you make a prominent disclosure in your email stating that the communication cannot be relied upon for penalty protection, then you don’t have to worry about the onerous and costly “Covered Opinion” rules.

Good news is that the Treasury Department has issued proposed rules that eliminate the need for the disclaimer.  The explanations to the proposed rules state that the IRS expects that the use of the Circular 230 disclaimer in emails will be eliminated if the proposed rules are adopted.

Maybe the best part of eliminating the rules is that you won’t get carpel tunnel scrolling through lengthy disclaimers in emails.