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The Complete CPA Reference by Joel G. Siegel, Jae K. Shim, Nick A. Dauber

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CHAPTER 14

Tax Research

One of the greatest assets for an accountant is the ability to conduct tax research. Whether the accountant is attempting to solve an existing tax problem or is formulating suggestions for proposed tax transactions, the practitioner should be familiar with the many sources of tax information.

Sources of Tax Law

What is the Internal Revenue Code?

The Internal Revenue Code represents the U.S. tax law. Amendments to the Internal Revenue Code must be approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate before the president signs them into law.

How are committee reports helpful?

The legislative intent of the law can be found in the committee reports of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and the Joint Conference Committee. Committee reports often provide examples that may closely approximate your client's transactions and proposals.

When defending positions in court, the use of congressional intent is quite forceful. Each section in the Code includes a reference to the legislative history of the law—that is, a reference to Revenue Acts and their years of enactment. Standard tax services, such as those published by the Research Institute of America and Commerce Clearing House, reprint congressional committee reports upon issuance. Another source for the committee reports is the Cumulative Bulletin issued twice a year by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The Cumulative Bulletin is the hardbound version containing 26 weekly ...

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