IRS Technical Advice Requests
Maryland Tax Attorney Explains IRS Technical Advice Requests
A Technical Advice Memorandum (TAM) provides written guidance when unique or highly complex tax issues arise in connection with an audit or administrative appeal. TAMs are issued by the IRS Office of Chief Counsel upon the request of an IRS Director or an Area Director, Appeals. While a taxpayer may file a request for a TAM, the taxpayer can only do so by making an oral or written request to the IRS field office to submit the issue for technical advice. If the field office denies the taxpayer’s request for a TAM, the taxpayer has the right to appeal the decision.
Requests for IRS technical advice typically arise in connection with the examination of an individual taxpayer’s or business’ tax return. A TAM request can also surface in connection with the consideration of an individual’s or business’ claim for a refund or credit or in other tax matters involving a specific taxpayer. In general, TAMS are sought when there is a lack of guidance on a specific problem or dispute or it appears as though the IRS may be treating two taxpayers differently even though they are in substantially the same situation. Certain types of issues are not subject to TAM procedures, including alcohol, tobacco and firearms taxes, which are under the jurisdiction of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the Treasury Department. Additionally, an IRS field office will deny a taxpayer’s request for a TAM where the request involves a “frivolous issue.”
A Technical Advice Memoranda will only be issued on closed or completed transactions. TAMs serve as the IRS Office of Chief Counsel’s interpretation of the proper application of tax laws, tax treaties, regulations, revenue rulings and other precedents. The TAM is the final determination of the position of the IRS with respect to the specific question involved in the case in which the TAM is rendered. In most situations the TAM will be made public after all information has been deleted in the memoranda that could reveal the identity of the taxpayer in the case.
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