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<Guy>
posted
Scott wrote: "It's 'advice' if it's in any form...that they might rely on."

The dictionary definition of advice is "opinion from one not immediately concerned as to what could or should be done about a problem...". There seems to be a clear difference between giving advice and providing information from an authoritatative source, like statutes, regulations etc. without interpretation or opinion added. Whether the recipient relies on the information or not, or to what extent, is not up up the provider.

Scott wrote: "...you need to be very clear about what is within your expertise..."

Exactly right. But after establishing the limits of experise, it also can be right to furnish objective information from areas outside one's expertise, if it's done without opinion.
 
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<Scott>
posted
Reply to post by Guy, on March 17, 2003 at 06:48:12:

So what's the point Guy? You want to provide "information" about something outside your expertise but have it not be "advice?"

If you are a professional consultant, either by formal membership in an organization like ASCA or by your acts, representations and agreements, what is "advice" and what is relied on is up to the person who might rely on it more than up to the provider.

It's like sexual harassment in the workplace. It's the harassed not the harasser who defines it. This is a very serious issue.

If your appraisal says "I estimate replacement cost as X and that's my opinion" and your cover letter or your verbal conversation says "IRS publication 547 says you can dedcut 'what you spend' and I think RCM is just as good" or "RCM might be just as good," "but that's not an expert opinion" you are still saying what you think. And the client might rely on that.

Go back through the threads that have lead up to this and you'll see lots of what people think a statute or an IRS publication or the PPJ label means or might mean or could mean or should mean.

You can say "IRS Pub x says A,B,C" but you have to be very careful not to embellish or interpret. Your clearest message should be "refer to IRS Pub. x or a competent professional."
 
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<Guy>
posted
Reply to post by Scott, on March 17, 2003 at 06:48:12:

Scott, it is clear that we agree on this; I'm just reiterating to clarify the lines not to be crossed.

You said, " ...you have to be very careful not to embellish or interpret. Your clearest message should be "refer to IRS Pub. x or a competent professional."

That's exactly what I do, hand them the reference or the pub. itself, with no interpretation written or verbal. That way it's not advice.
 
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