What are General Counsel Memoranda?
General counsel memoranda (GCMs) are publicly available but are not officially published by the IRS.
They are typically taxpayer/case specific.
GCMs are prepared by the IRS office of Chief Counsel as internal guidance to explain the reasoning behind Revenue Rulings, Private Letter Rulings and Technical Advice Memoranda. GCMs have been phased out by the IRS since 2002.
GCMs are not considered precedential, but IRS employee can use them as guides. GCMs issued after March 12, 1981 can be used as substantial authority to avoid the substantial understatement penalty.
GCMs are numbered sequentially but without any indication of their year of issue.
How Can I Access General Counsel Memoranda?
- Via the IRS.gov Electronic Reading Room
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 General Counsel Memoranda)
- Via the Bloomberg/BNA Tax and Accounting Center
- Via LexisNexis Academic
- Via CCH Intelliconnect