Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 1

ptheland writes (in part): <<<<Have you noticed the new disclaimer on the board? Is it going to be adequate for you?>>>>

"I have -- Twitty was kind enough to base it on language I suggested, with a change that I consider an improvement. Things have been busy here at the office, but when I get a free minute, I'll ask one of our tax people whether I'm sufficiently covered. That will answer the second question. --Bob"

I did not notice until peter pointed it out.

"In accordance with IRS Circular 230, you can't use tax advice contained in any post on The Motley Fool's message boards to avoid tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions."

I strongly dislike the implication that by posting on this Board, or any other TMF Board, that I am providing advice to anyone.

The TMF general disclaimer already provides:

"The Motley Fool Disclaimer: Watching Out For Your Money
The Motley Fool online forum is designed to help readers obtain financial information and discuss ways to make investment and personal financial decisions. This information is sometimes provided by our staff and sometimes by other contributors, many of whom use anonymous screen names and are people we've never met.

We Fools recognize that while we have tons of great stuff in this forum, people sometimes post messages in our folders or make statements in our chat rooms that are misleading, deceptive, or downright wrong. They may do this unintentionally or, sad to say, intentionally. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recognizes this and has published information on various Cyberfraud that they have seen. The NASDR has provided its own insights into how to invest carefully in this new, electronic world and NASAA also provides tips on how not to fall prey to online investment schemes. The SEC, NASDR and the NASAA maintain outstanding websites at and, and respectively.

Treat the contributors here the same way you'd treat anyone you'd met for the first time at a party. This is important because anyone can show up to our party: no invitations are required. You shouldn't make an investment just because some stranger (or even a friend) talks it up; you shouldn't treat cyberspace any differently.

The fundamental concept is that you should NOT rely upon the information or opinions you read. Rather, you should use what you read here as starting points for doing independent research on companies and investing techniques. Then judge for yourself the merits of the material that has been shared in our forum.

The Motley Fool does not guarantee the veracity, reliability or completeness of any information provided in our forum or in any hyperlink appearing on our site. No one could read through the thousands of messages we receive each day, check out all the hyperlinked web sites, and research each one for accuracy. That isn't why we're here. Nor are we here to give you hot "tips," to make "buy" or "sell" recommendations, or to tell you what to do with your money. We're here to help you to learn how to make investment and personal finance decisions for yourself, and to have fun.

You are responsible for your own investment decisions. The Motley Fool will not be responsible for any errors or omissions in articles or postings, for hyperlinks embedded in messages, or for any results obtained from the use of such information. The Motley Fool will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a reader's reliance on information obtained in our area, or in a hyperlinked area. If you don't accept this responsibility for yourself, then you should not use The Motley Fool.

If you ignore our advice to do independent research of industries, companies, and stocks, choosing instead to trade solely on information, "tips," or opinions found in our forum, you have made a conscious, willing, free, and personal decision to do so. You have also probably made a mistake.

As cyberspace develops, the freedom and openness from which we all profit can make us the target of touts, hypesters, and frauds. These people could infect our forum, just as they infect other parts of the world. Please proceed with caution and do your homework. And remember: when you access one of these hyperlinked web sites, you're leaving our area so be wary of those who post hyperlinks to strange web sites."

and the Additional disclaimer in the Terms and Conditions of Service:

Disclaimer of Warranties and Liabilities

The Motley Fool provides a broad range of information, services, commentary, and entertainment (content, remember?). We can't and we don't warrant the completeness or accuracy of the content found in our areas, or its usefulness for any particular purpose. And although we have the hardest-working, most talented techies in the business, The Motley Fool also makes no promises that our content or the service itself will be delivered to you uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error-free. In fact we're not making any promises or warranties except that we won't intentionally lie to you. Other than that, we reserve the right to be wrong, stupid, and even foolish (with a small "f").

Now what does all this mean? It means that you agree that under no circumstances will The Motley Fool be liable for direct, indirect, incidental, or any other type of damages resulting from your use, or downloading of any content on our site. This includes, but is no way limited to, loss or injury caused in whole or in part by our negligence or by stuff beyond our control in creating or delivering any portion of The Motley Fool.

One of our principal tenets here at the Fool is that the best person to handle your finances is YOU and by your use of our service, you're agreeing that you bear responsibility for your own investment research and investment decisions. You also agree that The Motley Fool will not be liable for any investment decision made or action taken by you or others based upon reliance on news, information, or any other material published by The Motley Fool. The Fool relies on various sources of information that we believe to be accurate and reliable. However, we make no claims or representations as to the accuracy, completeness, or truth of any material contained on our site. There are literally thousands of contributors here, most, we believe, with incredibly interesting and insightful information and opinions to share. But we can't and won't take responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or even the truth of every post on our service. Remember: All information and content provided on The Motley Fool is to be used on an "as is, with all faults, we're not perfect" basis."

I give advice only to clients. I have a rigorous process that I need to follow to establish a client relationship in order to avoid conflicts of interest.

I have a disclaimer I use if I feel like one of my posts is beginning to sound like legal advice:



If posting on this Tax Board means or implies that I am providing advice --- as suggested by the new Tax Circular disclaimer, which appears contrary to general TMD disclaimers, then I will feel compelled to use a personal disclaimer on virtually every post on this Tax Board.

Before Bob raised the issue, I was not overly concerned because of the general TMF disclaimers (and my relative anonymity, especially as compared to Bob, Peter, Phil or Roy), but the new addition seems to contradict the general disclaimers, and the new addition is directly on this Board. General rules of of interpretation would suggest that the specific controls over the general and this concerns me.

If the text of the disclaimer is reworked, I would prefer to see something like:

"In accordance with IRS Circular 230, you cannot use any post on The Motley Fool's message boards (including without limitation any tax advice or any other discussions or information) to avoid tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions."

Just my $0.02.

Regards, JAFO

Print the post  


In accordance with IRS Circular 230, you cannot use the contents of any post on The Motley Fool's message boards to avoid tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.