TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Gideon Reviews Standards of Tax Practice

Standards_of_tax_practiceAs blogged here earlier, Tax Analysts has published the 6th edition of the classic book on ethical guidance for tax professionals: Standards of Tax Practice, by Bernard Wolfman (Harvard), James Holden (Steptoe & Johnson) & Kenneth Harris (Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg).

Kenneth Gideon (Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP), Chair of the ABA Tax Section, praises the book:

The sixth edition . . . updates what is now a venerable classic and essential reference for tax professionals on the standards for and regulation of tax practice. No other work offers practicing tax professionals such comprehensive coverage of the rules, case law, and ethical standards affecting tax practice, ranging from Circular 230, to penalties leviable on practitioners, to bar and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants rules. A full chapter is devoted to an analysis of malpractice liability of tax professionals. When the standards governing lawyers and accountants differ, those differences are identified and addressed. With the rapid pace of change in those areas in recent years, the new edition is timely and addresses many recent developments.

New areas of coverage include practice separation rules under Sarbanes-Oxley, revisions to the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct providing attorneys with greater latitude in disclosing client confidences to prevent ongoing harm to others, review of the emerging case law under code section 7525 (the accountant's privilege), due diligence requirements for preparation of earned income tax credit returns, and proposed revisions to Circular 230. The book describes and critically analyzes important recent precedents...

Wolfman, Holden, and Harris deserve the thanks of thoughtful practitioners for this readable and important compendium of law, authority, and opinion on the standards of tax practice (both aspirational and mandatory). Without regard to whether one agrees with all the authors' conclusions, no other single volume better focuses the issues confronting tax practitioners today in aspiring to and achieving ethical tax practice.

For the full review, originally published in 104 Tax Notes 1573 (2004) and reprinted with permission, see here.

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Going back at least to the early 1970s, we in the Boston area have had the good fortune to attend tax seminars in which Bernard Wolfman has addressed ethics that are not limited to tax practice. We need more Bernard Wolfmans.

Posted by: Shag from Brookline | Nov 30, 2004 12:46:25 PM