The Tax Research Environment
Explore the IRS's website for tools to help with tax compliance. All forms and publications of the IRS are downloadable from the IRS's website. IRS Publications is a series of Internal Revenue Service documents on common tax issues, which provide explanations and associated forms. Exhibit 5-18 shows tools for the tax professional that provide information needed to file clients’ tax returns. The IRS website contains many valuable web pages, such as the one on reporting uncertain tax positions, as shown in Exhibit 5-19, and the one on taxpayer appellate rights within the IRS, as shown in Exhibit 5-20.
The quality of tax research initially performed and documented should prepare for handling a tax audit. While all tax returns go through computational checking, some face real scrutiny through an audit. To understand the tax research environment, one must have basic knowledge of the various types of civil tax audits, as well as research if the IRS has a Tax Audit Guide on the industry, as shown in Exhibit 5-21. These guides provide insight into the issues and accounting methods unique to an industry.
Individual Face-to-Face Tax Audits