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Retail Industry Audit Technique Guide (ATG) - Table of Contents

Publication Date - February 2009

NOTE: This guide is current through the publication date. Since changes may have occurred after the publication date that would affect the accuracy of this document, no guarantees are made concerning the technical accuracy after the publication date.


This Audit Techniques Guide (ATG) is presented in several chapters. These chapters can be accessed and then printed by following the links in the Table of Contents below. To print the entire ATG please refer to the PDF version.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Description of the Retail Industry

  • Purpose for the ATG
  • Description of a Retailer
  • What Retailers Do
  • Demographics of Retail Industry
  • Retail Entities
  • Useful Retail Web Sites
  • Unique General Industry Terminology

Chapter 2: General Issues in Retail

  • Initial Interview
  • Information Document Request
  • Books and Records
  • Income Issues
    • Cash Records
    • Indirect Methods 
    • Sources of Receipts 
    • Other Retail Income Sources
  • Cost of Goods Sold 
    • Inventory
  • Purchases 
  • Expenses 
  • Excise Tax Issues
  • Employment Tax Issues/Information Returns  

Chapter 3: Examination Techniques for Specific Industries

Electronic Business, Online Retail

  • Introduction
  • Internet Investigative Tools
  • Audit Techniques and Interview Questions
  • Income
  • Cost of Goods Sold
  • Expenses
    • Potential Tax Issues
  • Glossary
  • Exhibit 1: E-Business

Video/DVD Rental Business

  • Introduction
  • Income
  • Cost of Goods Sold
  • Expenses
  • Glossary

Gasoline Service Stations

  • Introduction
  • Initial Interview Questions
  • Income
    • Potential sources of additional income
  • Expenses
  • Web Sites
  • Glossary
  • Statistics

Independent Used Automobile Dealerships

  • Introduction
  • Initial Interview
  • Books and Records
  • Income
  • Cost of Goods Sold and Purchases/Inventory
  • Purchases
  • Expenses Issues
    • Related Finance Company
    • What Is A Non-Prime or Sub-Prime Finance Contract?
    • Other Issues
  • Web Sources on Independent Car Dealers
  • Glossary
  • Statistics

Direct Sellers

  • Introduction
    • Types of Direct Selling Companies
    • Demographics of Direct Sellers
    • What Direct Sellers Do
  • NAICS Codes and The Direct Selling Industry
  • Income Issues 
    • Gross Receipts
    • Form 1099-MISC
  • Expenses Issues
    • Start up Expenses
    • IRC 195
    • Inventory and Cost of Goods Sold
  • Partnership v. Sole Proprietorship
  • Employee v. Independent Contractor
  • Profit V. Not-For-Profit Issue
  • Nine Factors and Analysis
  • Examination Practices
  • Web Sites for Assistance
  • Code, Regulations, Revenue Ruling and Court Cases

Auto Body/Repair

  • Introduction
  • Description of Auto Body Repair Process
  • Initial Interview
  • Tour of Business
  • Books and Records
  • Income
  • Categories of Charges
  • Other Income Sources
  • Indications of Underreporting
  • Other Income Issues
  • Cost of Sales
  • Expenses
  • Glossary

Chapter 4: Examination Techniques for the Food and Beverages Industries

Retail Liquor Industry

  • Introduction
  • Income
  • Cost of Goods Sold
  • Statistics

Mobile Food Vendors

  • Introduction
  • Income
  • Cost of Goods Sold
  • Expenses
  • Glossary

Pizza Restaurants

  • Income
  • Cost of Goods Sold
  • Expenses

Restaurants and Bars

  • Introduction
  • Income
    • Additional Income Issues
    • Bar Income
  • Cost of Goods Sold
  • Expenses
    • Cost Segregation
  • Web Sites
  • Glossary
  • Statistics

Grocery Stores

  • Initial Interview Questions
  • Income
  • Cost of Goods Sold

Chapter 5: Code, Regulations and Revenue Rulings, Procedures, Court Cases, and IRMs

  • Cited Code Sections
  • Cited Regulations
  • Cited Revenue Rulings & Revenue Procedures
  • Cited Court Cases
  • Cited IRMs Sections

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