A judge has ruled that taxpayers who get advice from the IRS do so at their own peril:
But the judge wrote in his order that IRS guidance isn’t “binding precedent” or even sufficient “substantial authority” to get a taxpayer excused from penalties if he follows that guidance and the IRS’s interpretation of the tax law turns out to be wrong.
So, if the IRS doesn’t know the tax law, then you can be fined, sent to jail, or otherwise have your life ruined by relying on IRS information found in their publications. But this isn’t the only time this has happened:
He cited in his order Tax Court and Appeals Court decisions holding that IRS published guidance doesn’t count in court.