What constitutes the illegal or unauthorized practice of law by accountants in their tax practice? The popular conception of the practice of law is the appearance in courts by attorneys. This may be a very small part of the average attorney's law practice. he spends most of his time in determining his clients' legal problems other than in court. So the unauthorized practice of law concerns itself with activities of persons, other than lawyers, who give legal advice to clients in connection with the practice of their professions. Accountants have prepared federal income tax returns, and returns for various state taxing authorities, since the inception of the income tax law. Furthermore, accountants have advised their clients regarding any matter which might have a tax consequence. This activity by accountants is what has caused the accusation of unauthorized practice of law.
Orville J. Weaver, Practice of Taxation: Accountants vs. Attorneys, 5 Clev.-Marshall L. Rev. 46 (1956)