What are Technical Advice Memoranda?
Technical Advice Memoranda (TAMs) are publicly available but are not officially published by the IRS.
They are taxpayer-specific.
"Technical Advice Memorandums (TAMs) are requested by IRS area offices after a return has been filed, often in conjunction with an ongoing examination" (IRM 126.96.36.199.10). They are similar to private letter rulings, but whereas PLRs generally arise from a taxpayer's request for advice on a proposed transaction, TAMs arise from IRS employees' requests for advice regarding the examination of a tax return.
"[A] technical advice memorandum to an area director, which relates to a particular case, should not be applied or relied upon as a precedent in the disposition of other cases. However, they provide insight with regard to the Service’s position on the law and serve as a guide" (IRM 188.8.131.52.10).
TAMs issued after October 31, 1976 may be used as substantial authority to avoid the substantial understatement penalty.
TAMs share the same multiple digit file numbers with letter rulings, i.e. the first two digits indicating the year the TAM/Ruling was issued, the second two digits indicating the week of the year the TAM/Ruling was released, and the remaining numbers indicating the number of the item issued that particular week (e.g. T.A.M. 99-32-001 or P.L.R. 99-32-083). TAMs carry the first release numbers for any particular week.
How Do I Access Technical Advice Memoranda?
- Via the IRS.gov Electronic Reading Room (scroll down to Non-Precedential Rulings and Advice, then click on IRS Written Determinations)
Electronic to Authorized Users:
- Via Westlaw Next
- Via Bloomberg Law
- (From the Tax Practice Center, choose Regulatory Agencies and then Technical Advice Memoranda)
- Via Lexis Advance
- Via RIA Checkpoint
- (From the main page, under Primary Source Materials, click the + next to IRS Rulings and Releases, and then choose Private Letter Rulings and Technical Advice Memoranda)
- Via the Bloomberg/BNA Tax and Accounting Center
- Via LexisNexis Academic
- Via CCH Intelliconnect