Michael Hatfield, Committee Opinions and Treasury Regulation: Tax Lawyer Ethics, 1965-1985, 15 Fla. Tax Rev. 675 (2014), https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/faculty-articles/364
Florida Tax Review
ethics, tax lawyers
This first section of the Article highlights the themes and tones of the 1945-1965 tax ethics literature, and then provides the political context and an overview of the legal changes in 1965-1985 that frame the tax ethics literature of that period. Section II begins in 1965, documenting the history of the first Formal Opinion (Opinion) on tax lawyer ethics issued by the American Bar Association's (ABA) Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility (PR Committee), which after considerable criticism in the ensuing years was substantially revised by a second Opinion in 1985. Section III is focused on 1980-1985, investigating the first foray of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) into directly and significantly regulating tax lawyers through Circular 230—and the bar's response. Section IV highlights the discussions that occurred on the sides of the debates over PR Committee Opinions and Circular 230. Section V provides reflections on the 1945-1985 history of tax lawyer ethics.