Ch. 2 Tax Research Methodology


6 Steps of Tax Research

1. Establish the facts
2. Identify the issues
3. Locate authority
4. Evaluate authority
5. Develop conclusions and recommendations
6. Communicate recommendations

3 Categories of Primary Authorities


3 types statutory sources

US Constitution
Tax Treaties

5 types of administrative sources

treasury regulations
revenue rulings
revenue procedures
other written determinations
miscellaneous IRS publications

6 types of judicial sources

supreme court
court of appeals
district court
US court of federal claims
tax court
tax court, small claims division

4 types of secondary authorities

annotated services
topical services
court reporters
tax journals

2 types of tax research issues

fact issues
law issues

information with objective reality

fact issues

3 things that represent a fact issue

reasonableness, intent or purpose

unclear how tax law applies; possible conflict between IRC sections; no provision found that addresses the client's specific issue

law issues

bars re-litigation on the same facts or same issues, therefore, it is critical to identify all issues surrounding the original case

collateral estoppel