IRS Issues FIN 48 Field Guide


The IRS Large and Mid-Size Business Division analyzed implications of FASB Interpretation no. 48, Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes, in an industry directive and field examination guide. The summary and 10 questions and answers of LMSB-04-0507-045 cover some questions extensively discussed elsewhere, such as FIN 48 workpapers falling within the Service’s policy of restraint in requesting workpapers generally. Other questions treat more obscure points, such as whether a restricted consent agreement can be used to extend the statute of limitations for uncertain tax positions. (The guide says it depends on the facts and circumstances and lists five possible determining factors.) The guide also covers closing agreements, methods for expediting a taxpayer desire for resolution of uncertain items and whether a FIN 48-related public disclosure might prompt the Service to reopen a closed examination cycle.

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