4.75.13  Issue Development (Cont. 1) 
Researching an Issue and Citing the Law 
Code of Federal Regulations  (03-14-2006)
Outdated Regulations

  1. Regulations may only apply to a particular time period. This fact is sometimes reflected by the publisher in the paragraph heading. Regulations do not always reflect recent changes in the law, and may not be applicable to years following a change in the law. Look for disclaimers and cautions regarding time frames.  (03-14-2006)
Financial Record-Keeping Regulations

  1. Financial Recordkeeping Regulations are issued by the Treasury Department under authority of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, 12 U.S.C. 1829b, §§ 1951-1959, and the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 103.11-103.53. The regulations specify the financial reports and records to be kept and/or filed by those engaged in domestic and foreign currency transactions.  (03-14-2006)
Internal Revenue Bulletin

  1. The Internal Revenue Bulletin (I.R.B.) is the authoritative instrument of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue for announcing official IRS rulings and procedures, and for publishing Treasury Decisions, Executive Orders, Tax Conventions, legislation, court decisions, and other items of general interest. It is published on a weekly basis by the Government Printing Office.

  2. It is the policy of the Service to publish in the I.R.B all substantive rulings necessary to promote a uniform application of the tax laws, including all rulings that supersede, revoke, modify, or amend any of those previously published in the I.R.B. All published rulings apply retroactively unless otherwise indicated. Procedures relating solely to matters of internal management are not published; however, statements of internal practices and procedures that affect the rights and duties of taxpayers are published.  (03-14-2006)
Miscellaneous Documents

  1. In addition to Revenue Rulings and Revenue Procedures, a number of miscellaneous documents having application to tax law interpretation and documents administration are published in the IRB:

    1. Announcements - Announcements are public pronouncements on matters of general interest, such as the effective dates of temporary regulations, clarification of rulings and form instructions. They are issued when guidance of a substantive or procedural nature is needed quickly. Announcements can be relied on to the same extent as Revenue Rulings and Revenue Procedures when they include specific language to that effect. Announcements are not included in the bound Cumulative Bulletin . They are identified by a two digit number representing the year and a sequence number. For example, Announcement 96-124, 1996-49 I.R.B. 22 is found in Internal Revenue Bulletin No. 1996-49, issued December 2, 1996, at page 22;

    2. Notices - Notices are public announcements issued by the Internal Revenue Service. Notices appear in the Internal Revenue Bulletin and are included in the bound Cumulative Bulletin. Notices are identified by a two digit number representing the year and a sequence number. For example, Notice 95-67 is cited as Notice 95-67, 1995-52 I.R.B. 35 or Notice 95-67, 1995-2 C.B. 343; and

    3. Delegation Orders - Commissioner Delegation Orders (Del. Order) formally delegate authority to perform certain tasks or make certain decisions to specified Service employees. Agreements made by Service employees under these orders are binding on taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service. Delegation Orders are identified by a number, sometimes followed by a revision date. Delegation Orders appear in the Internal Revenue Bulletin and are included in the Cumulative Bulletin. For example, Delegation Order No. 245 is cited as Del. Order 245, 1995–22 I.R.B. 5 or Del. Order 245, 1995–1 C.B. 288.


      The Cumulative Bulletin is the more permanent bound volume and citing the Cumulative Bulletin is more appropriate after its publication.  (03-14-2006)
Citing the Internal Revenue Bulletin

  1. Items appearing in the Internal Revenue Bulletin that have not appeared in the Cumulative Bulletin should be cited to the weekly Bulletin as follows, Rev. Rul. 96-55, 1996-49 I.R.B. 4. Internal Revenue Bulletin No. 1996-49 was issued December 2, 1996. Rev. Rul. 96-55 is found at page 4.  (03-14-2006)
Cumulative Bulletin

  1. The Cumulative Bulletin (C.B.) is a consolidation of items of a permanent nature published in the weekly Bulletin and is divided into four parts:

    1. Part I, 1986 IRC - This part is divided into two subparts based on provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Arrangement is sequential according to Code and regulation sections. The Code section is shown at the top of each page;

    2. Part II, Treaties and Tax Legislation -This part is divided into two subparts as follows: (1) Subpart A, Tax Conventions, and (2) Subpart B, Legislation and Related Committee Reports;

    3. Part III, Administrative, Procedural, and Miscellaneous - To the extent practical, pertinent cross references to these subjects are contained in the other parts and subparts; and

    4. Part IV, Notice of Proposed Rule Making -The preambles and text of Proposed Regulations that were published in the Federal Register during this six month period are printed in this section. Included in this section is a list of persons disbarred or suspended from practice before the Internal Revenue Service.  (03-14-2006)
Citing the Cumulative Bulletin

  1. The title of Cumulative Bulletins issued before 1937 does not reflect the year of issuance. A citation to the Bulletin must include the year in parentheses at the end of the citation, as follows: S.S.T. 31, XV-2 C.B. 400 (1936).

  2. After 1936, a citation to the Bulletin is as follows: Rev. Proc. 71–4, 1971–1 C.B. 662. Rev. Proc. 71-4 is found at page 662, volume one of the 1971 Cumulative Bulletins (January - June, 1971).

  3. To call attention to a certain page of a document, such as the Bulletin, show first the page on which the document begins, followed by the page to which attention is directed. Thus, the citation Rev. Rul. 63–107, 1963–1 C.B. 71, 74, directs the reader’s attention to page 74 of Rev. Rul. 63-107, found in volume 63-1 of the Cumulative Bulletin, starting on page 71.  (03-14-2006)
Revenue Rulings and Procedures

  1. Revenue Rulings (Rev. Rul.) represent the conclusions of the Service on the application of the law to specific facts stated in the ruling. In rulings based on positions taken in private letter rulings to taxpayers or technical advice to Service field offices, identifying details and information of a confidential nature are deleted to prevent unwarranted invasions of privacy, and to comply with statutory requirements.

  2. A revenue procedure (Rev. Proc.) is issued to assist taxpayers in complying with procedural issues that deal with tax return preparation and compliance.

  3. The purpose of rulings and procedures is to promote uniform application of the tax laws. Internal Revenue Service employees must follow rulings and procedures. Taxpayers may rely on them or appeal their position to the Tax Court or other Federal courts.

  4. Revenue Rulings and Revenue Procedures that have an effect on previous rulings use the following defined terms to describe the effect:

    1. Amplified describes a situation where no change is being made in a prior published position, but the prior position is being extended to apply to a variation of the original fact situation;

    2. Clarified is used in those instances where the language in a prior ruling is being made clear because the language has caused, or may cause, confusion. It is not used where a position in a prior ruling is being changed;

    3. Distinguished describes a situation where a ruling mentions a previously published ruling and points out an essential differences between them;

    4. Modified is used where the substance of a previously published position is being changed;

    5. Obsoleted describes a previously published ruling that is not considered determinative with respect to future transactions. The term is most commonly used in a ruling that lists previously published rulings that are obsoleted because of changes in law or regulations. A ruling may also be obsoleted because the substance has been included in regulations subsequently adopted;

    6. Revoked describes situations where the position in the previously published ruling is not correct, and the correct position is being stated in a new ruling;

    7. Superseded describes a situation where the new ruling does nothing more than restate the substance and situation of a previously published ruling (or rulings). Thus, the term is used to republish under the 1986 Code and regulations the same position published under the 1939 Code and regulations. The term is also used when it is desirable to republish in a single ruling a series of situations, names, etc., that were previously published over a period of time in separate rulings. If the new ruling does more than restate the substance of a prior ruling, a combination of terms is used. For example, modified and superseded describes a situation where the substance of a previously published ruling is being changed in part, and is continued without change in part, and it is desired to restate the valid portion of the previously published ruling in a new ruling that is self contained. In this case the previously published ruling is first modified, and then, as modified, is superseded;

    8. Supplemented is used in situations in which a list, such as a list of the name of countries, is published in a ruling and that list is expanded by adding further names in subsequent rulings. After the original ruling has been supplemented several times, a new ruling may be published that includes the list in the original ruling and the additions, and supersedes all prior rulings in the series; and

    9. Suspended is used in rare situations to show that the previously published ruling will not be applied pending some future action such as the issuance of new or amended regulations, the outcome of cases in litigation, or the outcome of a Service study.

  5. Rulings do not have the force and effect of Treasury Department Regulations, but they may be used as precedent. In applying published rulings, the effects of subsequent legislation, regulations, court decisions, rulings, and procedures must be considered. Caution is urged against reaching the same conclusion in other cases, unless the facts and circumstances are substantially the same.

  6. Revenue Rulings and Procedures are published by the Internal Revenue Service in the Internal Revenue Bulletin  (03-14-2006)
Citing Revenue Rulings and Revenue Procedures

  1. Locating a ruling or procedure requires the following information from the citation:

    1. The year the ruling or procedure was issued;

    2. The ruling or procedure number;

    3. The volume number of the I.R.B. or C.B.; and

    4. The page number of the Ruling or Procedure.

  2. Rev. Rul. 67-264, 1967-2 C.B. 196., is illustrated below:

    • Rev. Rul. 67-264 - Ruling number showing year of issue, "67" ;

    • 1967-2 - Volume number;

    • C.B. - Name of publication; and

    • 196 - Page number.  (03-14-2006)
IRS Publications

  1. IRS publications, issued by the Headquarters Office, explain the law in plain language for taxpayers and their advisors. They typically highlight changes in the law, provide examples illustrating Service positions, and include worksheets. Publications are nonbinding on the Service, and do not necessarily cover all positions for a given issue. While a good source of general information, publications should not be cited to sustain a position.  (03-14-2006)
Court Decisions and Case Law

  1. Congress legislates tax law, the Internal Revenue Service interprets and enforces the law, and the judiciary branch of government determines whether the Service’s interpretation is correct. This provides for yet another source of guidance as to the meaning of tax laws (court decisions) sometimes referred to as case law.

  2. This section focuses on the Federal courts (and their predecessors) that interpret Federal tax law, and the role of case law in tax research and decision making.  (03-14-2006)
U.S. Board of Tax Appeals

  1. Until superseded by the U.S. Tax Court in 1942, the Board of Tax Appeals (B.T.A.) offered taxpayers a prepayment forum for disputing deficiencies assessed by the Service. The Board had jurisdiction over income, excess profits, and estate and gift taxes.

  2. Although these decisions are old, many retain precedential value because they address issues of continuing significance or state principles that are still valid. However, a B.T.A. decision may be based upon an authority that is obsolete and all references to the Code are to a pre-1954 Code. Therefore, caution must be exercised in citing B.T.A. decisions.

  3. Board of Tax Appeals Decisions are cited as follows: Simons Brick Co. v. Commissioner,14 B.T.A. 878, where "14" is the volume number, "B.T.A." is the publication title, and "878" is the page number. These decisions are available from commercial publishers.  (03-14-2006)
Tax Court of the United States

  1. When taxpayers disagree with a determination and the case is not settled through the Appeals process, taxpayers may petition the United States Tax Court for a judicial determination of tax liability before paying the tax. Tax Court offers taxpayers a forum for disputing deficiencies asserted by the Service under income, estate and gift tax, and certain (not all) employment tax and excise tax provisions.  (03-14-2006)
Small Tax Case Procedures

  1. Tax Court cases involving not more than $50,000 for any one year may be handled under the "small tax case procedures " . These procedures were authorized in order to expeditiously and informally handle litigation for cases involving small sums of money. When taxpayers choose this option to appeal a decision, they are barred from making an appeal to a higher court. Decisions reached by the Tax Court under the small case procedures are not published and have no precedential value.  (03-14-2006)
Regular Opinions

  1. Tax Court regular opinions are decisions of the Court that involve more than mere factual determinations or applications of well established legal principles. They generally involve new decisions on points of law that set precedent. Regular opinions are published in Reports of the United States Tax Court by the Government Printing Office. Commercial publishers also print these decisions.  (03-14-2006)
Memorandum Decisions

  1. Memorandum decisions primarily involve factual determinations and the application of well established legal rules. Memorandum decisions do not warrant publication in bound volumes in the opinion of the Court. They are published in pamphlets by the Government and in bound volumes by commercial publishers.  (03-14-2006)
Citing Tax Court Decisions

  1. In citing a regular decision of the United States Tax Court, examiners should name the case, refer to the number of the volume in which it is published, and the page in the volume on which the ruling begins. For example: Richard A. Sutter, 21 T.C. 170.

  2. Examiners should be careful not to cite a Tax Court case in which the decision was against the Government unless that decision has been acquiesced by the Commissioner See IRM the decision was against the Commissioner and acquiescence followed, the decision must be noted as "Acq" . A decision against the Government which has been nonacquiesced in, should be noted as "Nonacq" .

  3. Memorandum decisions are usually cited with reference to one or both of two commercial publications. For example: R.L. Taylor v. Commissioner may be cited as follows:

    1. CCH, Incorporated: Taylor, R.L. 40 T.C.M. 1206 1980–376 Dec. 37,228(M); and

    2. Research Institute of America: Taylor, R.L. 1980 T.C. Memo 80376.

  4. Some of the information is the same in each citation, such as the case name and decision number (1980-376 and 80376, respectively). However, reference to where the decision is found is different, and the CCH citation includes a CCH decision number, Dec.37,228(M).

  5. The term "v. Commissioner " is not used in citing United States Tax Court cases.  (03-14-2006)
U.S. District Court and U.S. Court of Federal Claims

  1. Generally, the United States District Court and the United States Court of Federal Claims hear tax cases after the taxpayer has paid the tax and filed a claim for refund or credit. If the claim is denied by the Service, the taxpayer may petition either the District Court or the Court of Federal Claims. District Court decisions may be appealed to the Courts of Appeals for the appropriate circuit. The Supreme Court of the United States may, at its discretion, review decisions of a Court of Appeals or the Court of Federal Claims.  (03-14-2006)
District Courts

  1. United States District Courts are the primary Federal courts of original jurisdiction and are located across the United States and its possessions. This is the only court where taxpayers can request a jury trial.

  2. Decisions of District Courts are published by commercial publishing houses. Examples are:

    • CCH Incorporated: United States Tax Cases (cited USTC);

    • Research Institute of America: American Federal Tax Report (cited AFTR); and

    • West publishing Company: Federal Reports (cited F. 2d).


      West Publishing Company publishes all decisions; CCH and Research Institute publish only Federal tax decisions.

  3. Citing District Court decisions is demonstrated below for the case of Ruby Smith Stahl v. United States.

    • CCH Incorporated: 69–1 USTC 9179;

    • Research Institute: 23 AFTR 2d 69–563; and

    • West Publishing: 294 F. Supp 243 (D.D.C. 1969).

  4. If a case has been decided but not yet cited to an unofficial reporter, cite as follows: Gifford Corp. v. United States, Civil No. 73–1250 (D. Mass., Jan. 10, 1973).

  5. If a case has not been decided, cite as follows: Cowden Mfg. Co. v. United States, Docket No. 2227 (E.D. Ky., filed April 17, 1972).  (03-14-2006)
U.S. Court of Federal Claims

  1. The United States Claims Court, subsequently renamed United States Court of Federal Claims, is located in Washington, D.C., and was established on October 1, 1982. It is authorized to sit nationwide. Prior to October 1, 1982, taxpayers could petition the United States Court of Claims. When researching tax issues, examiners will find cases from both courts.

  2. Decisions of the Claims Court are published by commercial publishers:

    • CCH Incorporated: United States Tax Cases (cited USTC);

    • Research Institute of America: American Federal Tax Report (cited AFTR); and

    • West Publishing Company: Federal Reports, Second Series (cited F. 2d) and beginning October 1982, Claims Court Reporter (cited Cl. Ct.).

  3. Citing United States Court of Claims is demonstrated below for the case of Uptown Club of Manhattan, Inc. v. United States:

    • CCH Incorporated: 49-1 USTC 9261;

    • Research Institute: 37 AFTR 1316; and

    • West Publishing: 83 F. Supp. 823 (Ct. Cl. 1949).

  4. Citing a Claims Court decision is demonstrated below for the case of Recchie v. United States:

    • CCH Incorporated: 83–1 USTC 9312;

    • Research Institute: 51 AFTR 2d 83–1010; and

    • West Publishing: 1 Cl. Ct. 726.  (03-14-2006)
Court of Appeals

  1. Either the taxpayer or the Government may appeal decisions of the Tax Court and District Courts to the regional Circuit Court of Appeals. There are twelve courts of appeals for eleven circuits and the District of Columbia.

  2. District Courts must follow the decision of the Court of Appeals for the circuit in which they are located. For example, the District Court in the Eastern District of Missouri must follow the decision of the Eight Circuit. If the Eighth Circuit has not rendered a decision on the particular issue involved, then the District Court may make its own decision or follow the decision of another circuit which has rendered a decision on the issue.

  3. Since one circuit court is not bound by the decision of another circuit, it is important to find a case from the circuit that will hear the case when citing a case supporting the position taken on an issue. If a decision on a particular issue has not been rendered in the examiner’s circuit, cite a supporting decision rendered in another circuit.

  4. Decisions of the Court of Appeals and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit are published by commercial publishers in the following volumes:

    • CCH Incorporated: United States Tax Cases (cited USTC);

    • Research Institute of America: American Federal Tax Report (cited AFTR); and

    • West Publishing Company: Federal Reports, Second Series (cited F. 2d).

  5. Citing United States Courts of Appeals decisions:

    1. Example: In the case of Graham v. Commissioner, the citation is 6 F.2d 878 (4th Cir. 1964); and

    2. If a case has not been reported in Federal Reports, cite an unofficial reporter, as follows: Marwais Steel Co. v. Commissioner, 17 AFTR 2d 11 (9th Cir. 1965), or Marwais Steel Co. v. Commissioner, 66–1 USTC 85, 126 (9TH Cir. 1965).  (03-14-2006)
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Court

  1. Before October 1, 1982, taxpayers appealed Court of Claims decisions directly to the Supreme Court. A new appellate court, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, was established. Taxpayers who disagree with a decision of the United States Court of Federal Claims must make their appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

  2. Exhibit 4.75.13-7 shows the jurisdiction of the circuits of the Court of Appeals.  (03-14-2006)
Supreme Court

  1. Decisions of the U.S. Courts of Appeal and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Court may be appealed to the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court of the land. No one has a right to be heard by the Court; the Supreme Court only accepts cases which it views as having national importance. Only a limited number of tax cases are heard.

  2. Appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States is by Writ of Certiorari. If the Court accepts the petition, it will grant the writ, cited cert. granted. If the petition is denied, the case is cited cert. denied.

  3. Supreme Court decisions are published by the Internal Revenue Service in the Internal Revenue Bulletin and Cumulative Bulletin. Commercial publishers as well as the Government Printing Office print the Court’s decisions:

    1. CCH Incorporated: United States Tax Cases (cited USTC);

    2. Research Institute of America: American Federal Tax Report (cited AFTR);

    3. West Publishing Company: Supreme Court Reporter (cited S. Ct.);

    4. United States Law Week (cited U.S.L.W); and

    5. Government Printing Office: United States Reports (cited U.S.).

  4. Citing Supreme Court cases is demonstrated below for the case of Commissioner v. Neil Sullivan:

    • CCH Incorporated: 58–1 USTC 9368;

    • Research Institute of America: 1 AFTR 2d 1158;

    • West Publishing Company: 78 5. Ct. 512;

    • United States Reports: 356 U.S. 27 (1958); and

    • Cumulative Bulletin: 1958–1 C.B. 506.  (03-14-2006)
Citators: Researching Case History

  1. Knowledge of the judicial history of a tax case is important, and research of case law is not complete until the history of a case is reviewed in a citator. For example, examiners should consider whether a case is current, whether there are other cases on the same point of law that should be considered, or whether a ruling is still valid. A citator lists court decisions alphabetically by case name, and shows where the full text of the decisions may be found. The citator traces the case history from its original entry into the court system through the Supreme Court, if appealed.

  2. Decisions reached in a lower court are sometimes reversed in the Appellate or Supreme Court. When this happens, the lower case decision has no legal sanction and should not be cited as an authority. A citator will show whether a higher court reversed, affirmed, modified, or otherwise disposed of a lower court decision.

  3. Revenue Rulings and Procedures may be revoked, modified, amplified, etc. A citator findings list will indicate whether or not this is the case.

  4. A citator will also direct examiners to subsequent cases or rulings that deal with the same legal principle in the setting of other Code sections or fact patterns. It lists everything that has been said about a case, ruling, or procedure.

  5. Citators are published by commercial publishers of tax services such as CCH Incorporated and Research Institute of America. While formats differ, commercial citators provide basically the same information.  (03-14-2006)
Citator Examples

  1. The following examples are taken from the Main Citator Table of CCH Incorporated’s Standard Federal Tax Reporter on compact disc.

  2. Example 1: Case Citator

    1. Batman, Ray L. ANNOTATED AT . . . 96 FED 2250.66; 8586.0358; 8706.075; 8706.11; 11, 025.3801; 13, 709.2261; 25,424 .95;

    2. SCt-Cert. denied, 342 US 877; 72 SCt 167;

    3. CA-5-(aff’g TC), 51-1 USTC P9305; 189 F2d 107;

    4. Miller, CA–10, 61–1 USTC 9156, 285 F2d 843
      Finley, CA-10, 58-1 USTC 9517, 255 F2d 128
      Batman, CA-5, 57-1 USTC 9247, 239 F2d 283
      Christopher, CA-5, 55-1 USTC 9504, 223 F2d 124
      West, CA-5, 54-2 USTC 9480, 214 F2d 300
      Wofford, CA-5, 53-2 USTC 9637, 207 F2d 749
      Mauritz, CA-5, 53-2 USTC 9495, 206 F2d 135
      Tomlinson, CA-5, 52–2 USTC 9543, 199 F2d 674
      Seabrook, CA-5, 52-1 USTC 9294, 196 F2d 322
      Culbertson, Sr., CA-5, 52-1 USTC 9233, 194 F2d 581
      Alexander, CA–5, 52-1 USTC 9232, 194 F2d 921
      Tilden, Inc., CA–5, 51-2 USTC 9501, 192 F2d 704
      Britt Est., CA–5, 51-2 USTC 9414, 190 F2d 946
      Scott, DC-Ark, 53-1 USTC 9166, 110 FSupp 165
      Lewis, TC, Dec. 20,733, 23 TC 538
      West, TC, Dec. 19,435, 19 TC 808
      Tomlinson, TC, Dec. 18,513(M), 10 TCM 828; and

    5. TC-Dec. 17,553(M); 9 TCM 210.

  3. Explanations of the above citations are as follows:

    1. Case name (Batman, Ray L.) and paragraph references to CCH Federal Standard Tax Reporter;

    2. Batman was appealed to the Supreme Court; however, certiorari was denied;

    3. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard Batman and affirmed the Tax Court Decision;

    4. These cases deal with the same legal principle or fact pattern and cite Batman; and

    5. Tax Court heard Batman and case was appealed to Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

  4. Example 2: Rulings Finding List

    1. Rev. Proc. 75-25, 1975–1 CB 720 ANNOTATED AT …96 FED 8471.90; 29,663.90 1975 CCH 6595;

    2. Amplified by: Rev. Proc. 78–25;

    3. Cited in: Jones, Dec. 49,862(M), 67 TCM 2997, TC Memo. 1994–230 Notice 91-4 T.D. 8408 Haynsworth, TC, Dec. 34,581, 68 TC 703 Rev. Rul. 76–247;

    4. Obsoleted by: Rev. Proc. 92-29;

    5. Superseding: Mim. 4027; and

    6. Example 2 is self-explanatory.  (03-14-2006)
Importance of Court Decisions

  1. Decisions made at various levels of the court system are considered to be interpretations of tax laws and may be used by either examiners or taxpayers to support a position.

  2. Certain court cases lend more weight to a position than others. A case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court becomes the law of the land and takes precedence over decisions of lower courts. The Internal Revenue Service must follow Supreme Court decisions. For examiners, Supreme Court decisions have the same weight as the Code.

  3. Decisions made by lower courts, such as Tax Court, District Courts, or Claims Court, are binding on the Service only for the particular taxpayer and the years litigated. Adverse decisions of lower courts do not require the Service to alter its position for other taxpayers.  (03-14-2006)
Action on Decision

  1. It is the policy of the Internal Revenue Service to announce at an early date whether it will follow the holdings in certain cases. An Action on Decision (A.O.D.) is the document making such an announcement. An Action on Decision is issued at the discretion of the Service only on unappealed issues decided adverse to the government. Generally, an Action on Decision is issued where guidance would be helpful to Service personnel working with the same or similar issues. Unlike a Treasury Regulation or a Revenue Ruling, an Action on Decision is not an affirmative statement of Service position. It is not intended to serve as public guidance and may not be cited as precedent.

  2. An Action on Decision may be relied upon within the Service only as the conclusion, applying the law to the facts in the particular case at the time the Action on Decision was issued. Caution should be exercised in extending the recommendation of the Action on Decision to similar cases where the facts are different. Moreover, the recommendation in the Action on Decision may be superseded by new legislation, regulations, rulings, cases, or Actions on Decisions.

  3. Prior to 1991, the Service published acquiescence or nonacquiescence only in certain regular Tax Court opinions. The Service expanded its acquiescence program to include other civil tax cases where guidance is determined to be helpful. Accordingly, the Service may acquiesce or nonacquiese in the holdings of memorandum Tax Court opinions, as well as those of the United States District Courts, Claims Court, and Circuit Courts of Appeal. Regardless of the court deciding the case, the recommendation of any Action on Decision will be published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin .

  4. The recommendation in every Action on Decision is summarized as acquiescence, in result only, or nonacquiescence. Both "acquiescence" and "acquiescence in result only " mean that the Service accepts the holding of the court in a case and that the Service will follow it in disposing of cases with the same controlling facts. The following differences are noted:

    1. "Acquiescence" indicates neither approval nor disapproval of the reasons assigned by the court for its conclusions;

    2. "Acquiescence in result only" indicates disagreement or concern with some or all of those reasons; and

    3. Nonacquiescence signifies that, although no further review was sought, the Service does not agree with the holding of the court and generally will not follow the decision in disposing of cases involving other taxpayers. In reference to an opinion of a circuit court of appeals, a nonacquiescence indicates that the Service will not follow the holding on a nationwide basis. However, the Service will recognize the precedential impact of the opinion on cases arising within the venue of the deciding circuit.  (03-14-2006)
Publication of Action on Decisions

  1. Action on Decisions are published in the weekly Internal Revenue Bulletin and consolidated semiannually. The consolidation appears in the first Bulletin for July and in the Cumulative Bulletin for the first half of the year. The annual consolidation appears in the first Bulletin for the following January and in the Cumulative Bulletin for the last half of the year.  (03-14-2006)
Citing Actions on Decisions

  1. If the Commissioner has published an acquiescence, acquiescence in result only, or nonacquiescence in a Tax Court or Board of Tax Appeals decision, it must be included in the citation, as in the following examples:

    • Merle P. Brooks, 36 T.C. 1128 (1961), acq., 1962–2 C.B. 4.;

    • Rodney Horton, 13 T.C. 143 (1949), acq. in result, 1959–2 C.B. 5.; and

    • Forest Lawn Memorial Park Ass’n. , 45 B.T.A. 1091 (1941), nonacq. 1960–2 C.B.  (03-14-2006)
Private Letter Rulings and Technical Advice Memorandums

  1. A Private Letter Ruling (PLR) represents the conclusion of the Service for an individual taxpayer. The application of a private letter ruling should therefore be confined to the specific case for which it was issued, unless the issue involved was specifically covered by statute, regulations, ruling, opinion, or decision published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin.

  2. Technical Advice Memorandums (TAM) are requested by IRS Area Offices after a return has been filed, often in conjunction with an on-going examination. TAMs are binding on the Service in relation to the taxpayer who is the subject of the ruling.

  3. A private letter ruling to a taxpayer or a technical advice memorandum to an Area Manager, which relates to a particular case, should not be applied or relied upon as a precedent in the disposition of other cases. However, they provide insight with regard to the Service’s position on the law and serve as a guide.

  4. Existing private letter rulings and memorandums (including Confidential Unpublished Rulings (C.U.R.), Advisory Memorandums (A.M.), and General Counsel Memorandums (G.C.M.)) may not be used as precedents in the disposition of other cases, but may be used as a guide with other research material in formulating an Area Office position on an issue.

  5. Whenever an Area Office finds that a C.U.R., A.M., or G.C.M. represents the sole precedent or guide for determining the disposition of an issue, and cannot to its own satisfaction, find justification in the Code, regulations, or published rulings to support the indicated position, technical advice should be requested from the Headquarters Office.

  6. Technical advice should be requested where taxpayers or their representatives take the position that the basis for the proposed action is not supported by statute, regulations, or published positions of the Service. If it is believed that the position of the Service should be published, the request for technical advice will contain a statement to that effect. Instructions for requesting technical advice from the Headquarters Office are contained in the second revenue procedure issued each year. Questions regarding the procedures should be addressed to the functional contacts listed in the revenue procedure.  (03-14-2006)
Publication of PLRs and TAMs

  1. Letter rulings and technical advice memorandums are available from commercial publishers.  (03-14-2006)
Citing PLRs and TAMs

  1. Letter rulings and technical advice memorandums are cited PLR or TAM, respectively, followed by a seven digit number. For example, PLR 8210019 or TAM 9643001. The first two digits indicate the year the ruling was published, for example, 1982 and 1996, respectively.  (03-14-2006)
General Counsel Memorandums

  1. General Counsel Memorandums (GCM) are legal memorandums from the Office of Chief Counsel prepared in connection with the review of certain proposed rulings (Rev. Ruls., PLRs, TCMs) . They contains legal analyses of `substantive issues and can be helpful in understanding the reasoning behind a particular ruling and the Service’s response to similar issues in the future.  (03-14-2006)
Technical Memorandums

  1. Technical Memorandums (TM) function as transmittal documents for Treasury Decisions or Notices of Proposed Rule Making (NPRMs). They generally summarize or explain proposed or adopted regulations, provide background information, state the issues involved, and identify any controversial legal or policy questions. Technical Memorandums are helpful in tracing the history and rationale behind a regulation or regulation proposal.  (03-14-2006)
Engineering Citator

  1. The Engineering Citator, Document 5262, contains annotations (short summaries of cases and rulings) and citations of precedents and published tax law developments pertinent to administering Internal Revenue Code provisions involving engineering matters.

  2. Copies of the Citator and supplements are distributed to Service personnel most concerned with engineering issues.  (03-14-2006)
Other Research Sources

  1. A wide range of tax literature is available to EO Examination personnel. Monthly publications such as The Exempt Organization Tax Review, published by Tax Analysts, provides articles pertaining exclusively to tax matters relating to Exempt Organizations.

  2. A number of tax services are available from commercial publishers that provide explanations and annotations on a variety of exempt organization as well as other tax issues. Well known examples include CCH Incorporated’s Exempt Organization Reporter, Bureau of National Affairs’ Tax Management Portfolios, and Research Institute of America’s "American Federal Tax Reports."

  3. Although these services may not be available in office libraries, they may be available through other library systems, i.e. public libraries or universities and can be researched using LEXIS® as described below.  (03-14-2006)
Electronic Tax Research

  1. ) Electronic research using computers, compact discs and on-line services is also available. Information can be accessed quickly. Most documents are available from commercial vendors on compact disc or online.

  2. The Service contracts with commercial vendors such as LEXIS®NEXIS® and Westlaw® to supply electronic access to data bases containing extensive libraries from which legal research material can be retrieved in full text through research terminals.

  3. Examiners can access LEXIS through both the Internet site at http://www.lexis.com or though the IRS intranet site at http://web.lexis.com/clients/irshome. These two addresses access the same Lexis database, use the same customer ID number, and have the same basic features. The main difference is the IRS intranet site provides quick links to commonly used sources.

  4. Employees who require LEXIS or other electronic research must receive a User-ID card in order to use the service(s).

  5. User ID cards may be obtained by contacting the ID Administrator at http://spder.web.irs.gov/ER/ERIDAdministrators.htm.

  6. Employees may access the following web site for training and other assistance at http://spder.web.irs.gov/er/info/NewVendorAnnounce03Training.htm .

  7. General questions about the electronic research contracts can be directed to spder@irs.gov.  (03-14-2006)
IRM On-Line

  1. The IRS Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Research (SPDER) teamed with LexisNexis to provide employees with a complete IRM in an easy to research electronic format

  2. A quick reference guide can be accessed at http://spder.web.irs.gov/IRMOnline/Training/IRMOnlineQuickReference.pdf .

  3. Additional tutorials and help using the on-line version of the IRM can be found at http://spder.web.irs.gov/IRMCBT/index.html.  (03-14-2006)

  1. NEXIS provides access to electronic databases that includes many of the major newspapers, magazines, news wires, and reference works. This service is normally available through LEXIS terminals. NEXIS is not generally available. Examiners should consult their area coordinator for further information.  (03-14-2006)
Public Records

  1. The Service contracts with a commercial service to provide access to electronic asset/locator and public records. The current 5-year contract is with ChoicePoint®. This service includes access to such things as Business Comprehensive Report, State Registration Data, Vehicle Searches, Bankruptcies and Liens, Comparable Sales, Real Property, Significant Shareholders, etc.

  2. An ID and password is required to access ChoicePoint. If you need a ChoicePoint ID, contact the appropriate ID administrator at http://sbse.web.irs.gov/EG/Examtools/Job%20Aids/ChoicePoint%20IDs.htm.

  3. Training aids for ChoicePoint are available at: http://sbse.web.irs.gov/EG/Examtools/Job%20Aids/CHOICEPOINT%20QUICKSTART.htm .  (03-14-2006)

  1. The GuideStar Web site provides the Form 990 and other useful information about the operations and finances of nonprofit organizations.

  2. GuideStar can be accessed at http://www.guidestar.org/index.html.

Exhibit 4.75.13-1  (03-14-2006)
Draft Termination Letter IRC § 501(c)(3)

This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Please click the link to view the image.

Exhibit 4.75.13-2  (03-14-2006)
Draft Termination Letter IRC § 501(c)(other)

This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Please click the link to view the image.

Exhibit 4.75.13-3  (03-14-2006)
Draft Examination Closing Letter Termination

This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Please click the link to view the image.

Exhibit 4.75.13-4  (03-14-2006)
Notice of Inadequate Records

This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Please click the link to view the image.
This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Please click the link to view the image.
This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Please click the link to view the image.

Exhibit 4.75.13-5  (03-14-2006)
Closing Procedures for "Unable to Locate" Situations

This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Please click the link to view the image.
This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Please click the link to view the image.
# Applies to Examples: Footnote:
1 5 There is reliable 3rd party information that supports a proposed revocation on the basis that the organization has engaged in non-exempt activities and Area Counsel agrees that this information supports a proposed revocation. Such cases should be rare.
2 2 The organization has been administratively terminated by the State for failure to file annual reports or pay required filing fees. The state allows a corporation to be reactivated or the state allows reactivation during a proscribed period of time and the period in during which reactivate is permitted has not expired.
    If the State allows reactivation during a prescribed period of time only, the examiner will prepare a Form 5666, TEGE Referral or Information Report, recommending the year in which the corporation can no longer be reactivated for examination.
3 3 The organization has been administratively terminated by the State for failure to file annual reports or pay required filing fees. The state does not allow a corporation to be reactivated or the State allows reactivation during a proscribed period of time but the period in during which reactivation is permitted has expired.
4 1, 3, 4, and 5 Prepare Form 2363-A, Request for IDRS Input for BMF-EO Entity Change, to update the EO/BMF to the correct status code. If the status is updated to status 20, Termination, the Form 2363–A will be enclosed the case file when it is closed to ESS. If the status is updated to 22, Revocation, the reviewer will process the Form 2363-A after the final letter is issued. See IRM for detailed instructions concerning terminations.
5 2 and 6 The examiner should update the organization's status " to unable to locate" by preparing Form 4844, Request for Terminal Action. The transaction code should be 593 and the closing code(CC) should be 82. (TC 593-CC 82). See Exhibit 4.75.13-6.


Form 3198-A should state, in the other instructions section, " Please process Form 4844."

6 2 and 6 Close with Closing Code 99, Information Report and Miscellaneous. Prepare Form 10904, Request for Record Deletion from AIMS. The reason for the request should be "Unable to locate taxpayer and examination is not to take place."
7 1 and 3 See Exhibit 4.75.13-1and Exhibit 4.75.13-2for sample termination letters. The termination letters will be mailed by Mandatory Review.
8 4 Revocation is proposed because of the organization failure to provide information verifying its continued qualification for exempt status. See IRC § 6033, Treas. Reg. § 1.6001-1 and Rev. Rul. 59 95, 1959 1 C.B. 627. The examiner will prepare the Revenue Agent's Report (RAR), 30 day letter and mail it to the taxpayer. Mandatory Review will prepare and mail the final letter.
9 5 Examiners, through the group manager, must secure Area Counsel's written agreement that the 3rd party facts support revocation. If Area Counsel agrees with the revocation, the examiner will prepare the Revenue Agent's Report (RAR), 30 day letter and mail it to the taxpayer. Mandatory Review will mail the and close the case to Mandatory Review. Mandatory Review will prepare and mail the final revocation letters.
10 5 If the letters were undeliverable in example 5, the basis for revocation is the 3rd party information. If the letters were delivered but there was no response, the basis for revocation will include both issues, failure to provide records and the 3rd party information.
11 4 and 5 Area Counsel must review and approve all 90-day letters involving IRC § 501(c)(3) organizations.

Exhibit 4.75.13-6  (03-14-2006)
Form 4844, Request for Terminal Action

This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Please click the link to view the image.

Exhibit 4.75.13-7  (03-14-2006)
Court of Appeals Jurisdictions

First Second Third
Maine Connecticut Delaware
Massachusetts New York New Jersey
New Hampshire Vermont Pennsylvania
Rhode Island Virgin Islands  
Puerto Rico    
Fourth Fifth Sixth
Maryland Canal Zone Kentucky
North Carolina Louisiana Tennessee
South Carolina Mississippi Ohio
Virginia Texas Michigan
West Virginia    
Seventh Eighth Ninth
Illinois Arkansas Alaska
Indiana Iowa Arizona
Wisconsin Minnesota California
  Missouri Hawaii
  Nebraska Idaho
  North Dakota Montana
  South Dakota Nevada
Tenth Eleventh District of Columbia
Colorado Alabama Washington D.C.
Kansas Florida US Federal Claims Court*
New Mexico Georgia  

More Internal Revenue Manual