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IRS Regulations & Pronouncements What Are They? How Do I Find Them? Kummert’s Legal Analysis 11.19.01.

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Presentation on theme: "IRS Regulations & Pronouncements What Are They? How Do I Find Them? Kummert’s Legal Analysis 11.19.01."— Presentation transcript:

1 IRS Regulations & Pronouncements What Are They? How Do I Find Them? Kummert’s Legal Analysis

2 Internal Revenue Code Enacted by US Congress Enacted by US Congress Codified in 26 US Code Codified in 26 US Code Complex & highly detailed Complex & highly detailed Subject to frequent revision Subject to frequent revision Delegates authority to write rules & regulations to the Secretary of the Treasury, 26 USC §7805 Delegates authority to write rules & regulations to the Secretary of the Treasury, 26 USC §7805

3 26 USC § 7805 Sec Rules and regulations (a) Authorization Except where such authority is expressly given by this title to any person other than an officer or employee of the Treasury Department, the Secretary shall prescribe all needful rules and regulations for the enforcement of this title, including all rules and regulations as may be necessary by reason of any alteration of law in relation to internal revenue.(a) Authorization Except where such authority is expressly given by this title to any person other than an officer or employee of the Treasury Department, the Secretary shall prescribe all needful rules and regulations for the enforcement of this title, including all rules and regulations as may be necessary by reason of any alteration of law in relation to internal revenue.

4 Internal Revenue Regulations Written by employees of the Treasury Dep’t & the Internal Revenue Service Written by employees of the Treasury Dep’t & the Internal Revenue Service Codified in 26 Code of Federal Regulations Codified in 26 Code of Federal Regulations Complex & highly detailed Complex & highly detailed Subject to frequent revision Subject to frequent revision

5 Proposed Regulations Published in the Federal Register & other sources Published in the Federal Register & other sources Posted on the IRS website Posted on the IRS website Provides comment period for affected & interested parties Provides comment period for affected & interested parties Not in effect until adopted as final Not in effect until adopted as final

6 Temporary Regulations Published in the Federal Register & other sources Published in the Federal Register & other sources Posted on the IRS website Posted on the IRS website Provides comment period for affected & interested parties Provides comment period for affected & interested parties In effect upon issuance, binding authority In effect upon issuance, binding authority Expire after 3 years or when replaced by final regulations Expire after 3 years or when replaced by final regulations

7 Final Regulations Published in many sources Published in many sources –Federal Register –Internal Revenue Bulletin –Income Tax Regulations (CCH) –Looseleaf services –Internet websites & CALR services Also known as Treasury Decisions Also known as Treasury Decisions Codified in 26 Code of Federal Regulations Codified in 26 Code of Federal Regulations

8 Code & Regs Congress enacts the code Congress enacts the code Treasury Dep’t writes regs to explain the Code Treasury Dep’t writes regs to explain the Code Regs must be a reasonable & consistent interpretation of the Code Regs must be a reasonable & consistent interpretation of the Code Annotated codes (USCA, USCS) refer to regs Annotated codes (USCA, USCS) refer to regs Looseleaf services integrate Code & regs Looseleaf services integrate Code & regs

9 Pronouncements & Interpretations Written documents from the IRS interpreting & providing guidance to taxpayers & tax professionals Written documents from the IRS interpreting & providing guidance to taxpayers & tax professionals Several different types Several different types Many names & acronyms Many names & acronyms Some are more important than others, are accorded more authority or weight Some are more important than others, are accorded more authority or weight

10 Examples Actions on decisions Actions on decisions Delegation orders Delegation orders General Counsel’s memoranda General Counsel’s memoranda Letter rulings Letter rulings Private letter rulings Private letter rulings Revenue procedures Revenue rulings Service center advice memoranda Technical advice memoranda

11 Finding Guide Chart on Gallagher Law Library website Chart on Gallagher Law Library website Provides list of acronyms & abbreviations, with print, Internet, LexisNexis & Westlaw sources Provides list of acronyms & abbreviations, with print, Internet, LexisNexis & Westlaw sources fedtaxcht.htm fedtaxcht.htm fedtaxcht.htm fedtaxcht.htm

12 Revenue Rulings (Rev. Rul.) Analyze specific transaction & relevant tax law Analyze specific transaction & relevant tax law Treat a hypothetical taxpayer’s situation Treat a hypothetical taxpayer’s situation Issued by the National Office of the IRS Issued by the National Office of the IRS Published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin / Cumulative Bulletin Published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin / Cumulative Bulletin

13 Revenue Procedures (Rev. Proc.) Official guidelines on procedural matters Official guidelines on procedural matters Issued by the National Office of the IRS Issued by the National Office of the IRS Published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin / Cumulative Bulletin Published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin / Cumulative Bulletin

14 Letter Rulings (LTR) Some known as Private Letter Rulings (PLR) Some known as Private Letter Rulings (PLR) Response to an individual taxpayer’s question Response to an individual taxpayer’s question Less authoritative than Revenue Rulings Less authoritative than Revenue Rulings IRS may decline to issue Letter Rulings on matters of “settled law” IRS may decline to issue Letter Rulings on matters of “settled law”

15 Technical Advice Memoranda (TAM) Response to a question posed by an IRS District Director or Appeals Officer conducting an audit Response to a question posed by an IRS District Director or Appeals Officer conducting an audit Less authoritative than Revenue Rulings; roughly equivalent to Letter Rulings Less authoritative than Revenue Rulings; roughly equivalent to Letter Rulings Helpful in determining IRS position Helpful in determining IRS position

16 How? Looseleaf services include references to many documents Looseleaf services include references to many documents –Standard Federal Tax Reporter (CCH) –United States Tax Reporter (RIA) LexisNexis & Westlaw databases include full-text documents LexisNexis & Westlaw databases include full-text documents LexisNexisWestlaw LexisNexisWestlaw

17 Final Thoughts Always check the validity of the regulation or prouncement Always check the validity of the regulation or prouncement Tax research is complicated; ask a reference librarian for help Tax research is complicated; ask a reference librarian for help Regulations & administrative materials are common in other areas of law, including banking, environment, labor, securities, etc. Regulations & administrative materials are common in other areas of law, including banking, environment, labor, securities, etc.


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