What are Chief Counsel Advice Documents?
Chief Counsel Advice documents are made available to the public (with caveats). They are not official published by the IRS.
They may be taxpayer-specific or non-taxpayer-specific.
Chief Counsel Advice (CCA) are "interpretations of IRS policies and procedures by the Chief Counsel's Office to employees of the agency and other members of the Office of Chief Counsel" (FN 1).
"Legal advice that constitutes CCA and its background file documents are made available for public inspection in accordance with IRC § 6110. Nontaxpayer specific CCA must be made available for public inspection within 60 days after the date on which it is signed. Taxpayer specific CCA generally must be made available for public inspection 75 to 90 days after the Service provides notice of intention to disclose to the taxpayer to whom the advice pertains. Background file documents are made available upon written request" I.R.M. 188.8.131.52.
Chief Counsel Advice is not substantial authority for purposes of the substantial understatement penalty. These documents are not definitive statements of the Service's position, and may not be used or cited as precedent in resolving cases. However, they may provide taxpayers with evidence of the views of the Office of Chief Counsel as to current tax issues.
FN1: Christopher C. Dykes, Federal Income Tax Law: A Legal Research Guide (Wm S. Hein & Co. 2010)
How Do I Access Chief Counsel Advice Documents?
- Via IRS.gov Electronic Reading Room (scroll down to Non-Precedential Rulings & Advice, then to IRS Written Determinations)
Electronic to Authorized Users:
- Via WestlawNext
- Via Bloomberg Law
- (From the Tax Practice Center, choose Regulatory Agencies and then search for the source)
- 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 Chief Counsel Advice)
- Via the Bloomberg/BNA Tax and Accounting Center
- Via LexisNexis Academic
- Via CCH Intelliconnect