Tax Research

Our team possesses a wealth of experience in conducting tax research. We delve into the primary and secondary sources of income tax law, including the Internal Revenue Code and administrative and judicial interpretations, to gain a thorough understanding of our clients' tax situations. Our experts provide clear and concise explanations of the tax issues to our clients, ensuring they have a complete understanding of their tax matters. In addition to reviewing the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Department regulations, we keep abreast of any updates, interpretations, rulings, and procedures issued by the relevant departments and agencies, including the Treasury department and the IRS. We stay current with court interpretations and provide citation update services to ensure the law remains relevant to your case. We collaborate with our clients to provide recommendations on how best to handle specific tax matters, examining the interplay between tax law, IRS interpretations, and pertinent case law. Our team will also provide guidance on different types of tax planning transactions, including:



Open-Fact Tax Planning

In an open-fact transaction, the completion of the transaction is dependent on certain facts that have not yet been determined. This type of transaction typically occurs in the early stages of development, where the parties involved are still negotiating the terms and conditions of the agreement. In this stage, there is an opportunity for the parties to plan and anticipate the facts that will determine the tax treatment of the transaction, which could result in a more favorable outcome. For instance, if the parties have not yet finalized the terms of the sale agreement, they can still structure the agreement to modify the facts and achieve a more advantageous tax treatment. With an open-fact transaction, the parties have the flexibility to modify the facts before the transaction is completed, enabling them to obtain a more desirable tax result.


Closed-Fact Tax Planning

When dealing with a closed transaction, it is common for clients to assume that there are no further tax planning opportunities available, as all the facts have been established. However, this assumption can often lead to missed opportunities for legally minimizing tax liability. At our firm, we recognize the importance of thorough tax research, even for closed transactions. By conducting extensive research, we can identify legislative, administrative, or judicial tax law positions that support opportunities for reducing a client's tax liability. Our research involves gathering and fully understanding the relevant facts and analyzing the law to ensure we provide the most comprehensive tax planning services possible. We understand that without excellent tax research skills, even closed transactions can result in significant tax problems for our clients. To ensure that our clients receive the best possible tax planning services, we use a three-step process that involves:

Legislative Law

Legislative law is an essential part of tax law research. It involves a review of the tax statutes passed by Congress, as well as the legislative history of those statutes. The legislative history includes a variety of sources, such as committee and conference reports, predecessor statutes, statements made in floor debates, earlier versions of the bill and the fact of their change, and comments bill sponsors make upon introduction of the bill.

The purpose of reviewing legislative law is to gain a better understanding of the intent of Congress in enacting a particular tax statute. By examining the legislative history, we can determine the reason for the enactment of a particular provision, the intended scope of the provision, and any changes made during the legislative process.

The extent and depth of legislative law research will depend on the facts and tax issue under review. For example, if the tax issue is related to a specific provision of the Internal Revenue Code, we may review the committee reports and floor debates related to the enactment of that provision. If the tax issue involves a proposed change to the tax laws, we may review the legislative history of similar proposals and the reasons for their success or failure.

Careful consideration is given to selecting the appropriate sources and conducting a thorough analysis of the legislative history to ensure that we have a complete understanding of the intent of Congress in enacting the tax statute. This information is essential to making informed decisions and providing accurate advice to our clients.

Administrative Law

Administrative law is a body of law that governs the actions of administrative agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in carrying out their duties and responsibilities. The IRS provides various types and forms of guidance to taxpayers to help them comply with tax laws and regulations.

Here are some examples of the different types and forms of guidance provided by the IRS:

Treasury Regulations (Treas. Reg.): These are the official interpretations of the tax laws enacted by Congress. They are published in the Federal Register and have the force of law.

Revenue Rulings (Rev. Rul.): These are official interpretations of the tax laws that apply to specific factual situations. They are issued by the IRS and published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB).

Revenue Procedures (Rev. Proc.): These provide guidance on procedural and administrative matters, such as how to obtain a ruling or determination letter from the IRS.

Notices and Announcements: These provide information on new tax laws, regulations, and administrative procedures.

Private Letter Rulings (PLRs): These are written responses to specific tax questions submitted by taxpayers or their representatives. They apply only to the taxpayer who requested the ruling.

Technical Advice Memorandums (TAMs): These provide advice on technical tax issues that arise in audits or other examinations of taxpayers.

General Counsel Memoranda (GCMs): These provide legal advice and interpretations of tax laws and regulations.

Chief Counsel Advice (CCA): These provide guidance to IRS employees on the application of tax laws and regulations to specific factual situations.

Determination Letters: These are official rulings on the tax-exempt status of organizations or the tax treatment of specific transactions.

These types and forms of guidance can be used by taxpayers and their representatives to better understand the IRS's position on tax issues and to help them comply with tax laws and regulations.

Judicial Law

Judicial law is an essential component of tax law research, especially when a taxpayer has challenged the IRS. When examining judicial law, we review court rulings at all levels, including the Tax Court, District Court, Court of Federal Claims, and Supreme Court, to determine the applicable rules and doctrines under judicial tax law.

Analogical legal reasoning is often used when reviewing judicial tax law holdings. This involves identifying a previous court case with similar facts or legal issues and applying the legal reasoning and holding of that case to the current tax issue. This allows us to gain insights and guidance from past court rulings and apply them to the current situation.

In addition to analogical reasoning, we also examine the specific facts and legal issues in each case to ensure that we are applying the correct legal principles. We analyze the reasoning and holding of each case to determine whether it is applicable to our client's situation.

Furthermore, we pay particular attention to court rulings that involve similar tax issues to our client's case. We analyze these cases to determine how the courts have interpreted and applied the law in similar situations, and we use this information to develop a legal strategy that is most advantageous to our client.

Overall, the review of judicial tax law is an essential part of our tax law research process, as it allows us to develop a comprehensive understanding of the applicable rules and doctrines under the law and to provide our clients with the most accurate and effective legal advice possible.