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"There are two systems of taxation in our country: one for the informed and one for the uninformed." Honorable Learned Hand, US Appeals Court Justice

When one thinks of taxes the first thing comes to mind is the IRS. The players in the tax equation are numerous and the IRS is only one of them. The Congress through the House Ways and Means Committee (a specific committee in the House of Representatives) is the body that generates the tax laws. They are incorporated in the Internal Revenue Code or Title 26 of the US Code

As a result of the complexity of the tax code two other primary sources of authority are available i.e. judicial interpretations and administrative interpretations. Congress granted authority to the Treasury Department who charged the Internal Revenue Service with the responsibility of enforcing "all the needful rules and regulations" or in other words to administer the federal tax law.  Secondary sources of authority attempt to shed more light on the intricate tax provisions such as transactional and reference services, articles, treatises etc.

"What is the maximum amount that can be expensed annually under Section 179?" "What is "qualified property" for the purpose of 30% or 50% bonus depreciation allowance?" "Am I in possession of constructively received income?" "Do I qualify for the 5% tax bracket on the capital gain?" "What is Distributable Net Income?" "Can I request an abatement of interest and penalties following an examination?" "What is the maximum deduction for a non-active participant in an employer-sponsored retirement plans?" "Does the partnership agreement have substantial economic effect?"

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"Today it takes more brains and effort to make out the income-tax form than it does to make the income". Alfred E. Newman

DISCLAIMER
 

One can challenge the above statement just by referring somebody to a low cost or no cost income tax return software available on the market today. "Terms of art", "limiting language", "pinballing" and "sunset provisions" are just a few of specific tax provisions that make identifying the issue more challenging than a software can handle.

A reputable tax advisor will be able to provide clients with a concise tax analysis reflecting the supporting rationale to the question or issue raise by the client. It might be brought upon the tax professional the role of not only advisor but also planner, when creative ideas are expected. There are times when the ultimate decision belongs to the well informed client.

"Anyone may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes." Honorable Learned Hand US Appeals Court Justice