Standard setters often make tradeoffs between desired qualitative characteristics of accounting information when developing guidance. This study examines the tradeoff between comparability and relevance in the context of FIN 48, Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes, which sought to enhance both comparability and relevance in accounting for income taxes. We offer evidence consistent with FIN 48 systematically overstating firms’ contingent tax liabilities and decreasing the predictive ability of tax expense (for cash taxes paid). Moreover, as compared to the pre-FIN 48 period, we find no evidence that FIN 48 improved relevance. Finally, we find evidence consistent with investors failing to identify when reserves are overstated, particularly in the post-FIN 48 period. Collectively, our findings imply that attempting to enhance comparability may come at a cost when accounting guidance is overly restrictive for some firms.