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Tax ResearchMark Popielarski – Spring 2013
Overview• Structure & Sources of Tax Law• Tax Reporters & Electronic Tax Research
Sources of Tax Law – Statutory Authority• Title 26 U.S.C. (also known as Internal Revenue Code)• Three major versions:   •...
Sources of Tax Law - Courts• U.S. Supreme Court, Courts of Appeals, District Courts, Court of Federal  Claims, and U.S. Ta...
Sources of Tax Law – Agencies• Treasury Department   • Agency charged by Congress with collecting and administering the Fe...
Regulations• Treasury Regulations   • Proposed       • Initial version of regulation submitted for public review and comme...
Regulations (cont.)• Treasury Regulations fall into three categories:   • Legislative       • IRS creates substantive tax ...
Publication of Regulations• Proposed, Temporary, and Final Regulations published in Federal Register  (FR) and Internal Re...
IRS Rulemaking and Pronouncements•   IRS creates and publishes numerous items related to tax law•   Some carry force of la...
IRS Rulemaking and Pronouncements (cont.)• Revenue Ruling (Rev. Rul.)   • IRS interprets law based on specific factual sce...
IRS Rulemaking and Pronouncements (cont.)• Internal Revenue Manual    • Issued to IRS personnel to manage organization and...
IRS Publications• Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB)   • Weekly IRS publication used to keep the public about current and upc...
Tax Publications – RIA• RIA owned by Thompson Reuters (Westlaw)• RIA Checkpoint electronic database   • United States Tax ...
Tax Publications – RIA (cont.)• United States Tax Reporter   • Arranged chronologically by I.R.C. number   • Contains:    ...
Tax Publications – RIA (cont.)• Federal Tax Coordinator 2d   • Topically organized—all discussion about an issue located i...
Tax Publications – RIA (cont.)• Warren, Gorham, & Lamont (WG&L)   • Publisher of numerous tax treatises   • Important name...
Tax Publications – CCH• Electronic platform – CCH IntelliConnect• Standard Federal Tax Reporter – Comparable to U.S. Tax R...
Tax Publications – CCH (cont.)• U.S. Tax Cases   • Tax Decisions from Federal Courts       • U.S. Supreme Court, Courts of...
Tax Publications - BNA• Available as standalone product or as part of Bloomberg Law• Tax Management Series   • Current awa...
Conclusion•   Attorneys encounter tax issues in numerous practice areas•   Tax law constantly changing so maintaining curr...
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Certification workshop tax research

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Certification workshop tax research

  1. 1. Tax ResearchMark Popielarski – Spring 2013
  2. 2. Overview• Structure & Sources of Tax Law• Tax Reporters & Electronic Tax Research
  3. 3. Sources of Tax Law – Statutory Authority• Title 26 U.S.C. (also known as Internal Revenue Code)• Three major versions: • 1939 • 1954 • 1986• Current I.R.C. is the 1986 version – frequently updated
  4. 4. Sources of Tax Law - Courts• U.S. Supreme Court, Courts of Appeals, District Courts, Court of Federal Claims, and U.S. Tax Court rule on Federal Tax matters• U.S. Tax Court issues three types of decisions: • ―Regular‖ decisions – novel legal issue (precedential) • Memorandum decisions – applying established tax law to specific facts (authoritative, but less so) • Summary Decisions – covers small cases (not precedential)
  5. 5. Sources of Tax Law – Agencies• Treasury Department • Agency charged by Congress with collecting and administering the Federal tax system• Internal Revenue Service (IRS) • Part of Treasury Department, most tax authority delegated to IRS
  6. 6. Regulations• Treasury Regulations • Proposed • Initial version of regulation submitted for public review and comment (no precedential value) • Temporary • Issued when pressing need for regulation on a particular issue—currently issued temporary regulations expire after three years if not replaced with final version (poses legal authority) • Final • Official enactment which carries legal authority
  7. 7. Regulations (cont.)• Treasury Regulations fall into three categories: • Legislative • IRS creates substantive tax regulations as authorized by law • Interpretive • Used to fill-in gaps in tax law—explains IRS’ understanding of IRC • Procedural • Addresses the mechanics of tax collection—for example filing tax returns
  8. 8. Publication of Regulations• Proposed, Temporary, and Final Regulations published in Federal Register (FR) and Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB) • Temporary and Final Regulations published in the FR & IRB are known as Treasury Decisions (TD)• Tax regulations are codified in Title 26 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
  9. 9. IRS Rulemaking and Pronouncements• IRS creates and publishes numerous items related to tax law• Some carry force of law while others have no legal authority• Important to know which is which when interpreting and applying tax law• Examples of important IRS material follows
  10. 10. IRS Rulemaking and Pronouncements (cont.)• Revenue Ruling (Rev. Rul.) • IRS interprets law based on specific factual scenario—authoritative for all taxpayers so long as still valid• Revenue Procedure (Rev. Proc.) • Addresses specific technical procedures—authoritative for all taxpayers• Private Letter Ruling • Individual taxpayer requests IRS opinion on tax consequences of prospective transaction—only binding on IRS for specific requesting taxpayer
  11. 11. IRS Rulemaking and Pronouncements (cont.)• Internal Revenue Manual • Issued to IRS personnel to manage organization and provide guidance regarding taxpayer matters • Not mandatory or binding on IRS, but helps tax professionals understand the IRS’ current mindset• Forms, Form Instructions, and Publications • Instruments issued for benefit of taxpayers to help understand tax issues and prepare returns • Possess no legal authority—taxpayers cannot claim reliance and use them at their own risk!
  12. 12. IRS Publications• Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB) • Weekly IRS publication used to keep the public about current and upcoming tax matters • Regulations, Rules, and other tax material published in IRB• Cumulative Bulletin (CB) • Biannual compilation of IRBs• Forms & Publications • Taxpayer guidance issued by IRS
  13. 13. Tax Publications – RIA• RIA owned by Thompson Reuters (Westlaw)• RIA Checkpoint electronic database • United States Tax Reporter • Federal Tax Coordinator 2d • American Federal Tax Reports • Warren, Gorham, & Lamont (WG&L) publications
  14. 14. Tax Publications – RIA (cont.)• United States Tax Reporter • Arranged chronologically by I.R.C. number • Contains: • Code Section • Committee Reports • Final and Temporary Regulations • Proposed Regulations • Explanations • Annotations
  15. 15. Tax Publications – RIA (cont.)• Federal Tax Coordinator 2d • Topically organized—all discussion about an issue located in one place • Avoids using overly technical language• American Federal Tax Reports • Collection/publication of tax-related cases, continuously updated with bound versions of previous years
  16. 16. Tax Publications – RIA (cont.)• Warren, Gorham, & Lamont (WG&L) • Publisher of numerous tax treatises • Important names to know in tax: • Bittker • Eustice • Lokken • Select WG&L treatises available on Westlaw
  17. 17. Tax Publications – CCH• Electronic platform – CCH IntelliConnect• Standard Federal Tax Reporter – Comparable to U.S. Tax Reporter • Organized by Code • Only covers Income Tax, separate series for other tax areas • Federal Estate and Gift Tax Reporter • Federal Excise Tax Reporter
  18. 18. Tax Publications – CCH (cont.)• U.S. Tax Cases • Tax Decisions from Federal Courts • U.S. Supreme Court, Courts of Appeals, District Courts, and Court of Federal Claims• Tax Court Reporter • Contains Decisions of the Tax Court
  19. 19. Tax Publications - BNA• Available as standalone product or as part of Bloomberg Law• Tax Management Series • Current awareness publications • Portfolios • Topic specific publication used for researching specific tax issues
  20. 20. Conclusion• Attorneys encounter tax issues in numerous practice areas• Tax law constantly changing so maintaining current awareness important• Many different sources for tax law and guidance• RIA, CCH, and BNA major sources for tax material

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