Friday, February 08, 2008

IRS Audit Manual on Federal Estate Tax

Recently on the ACTEC Practice Listserv, a question was asked -- "Can anyone suggest how I might get a copy of the IRS Examination Technique Handbook for Estate Tax Examiners?" The answer reminds us about a necessary resource for tax practitioners.

Beth Shapiro Kaufman, of Caplin & Drysdale, in Washington, D.C. , responded, "If you are looking for the section of the Internal Revenue Manual that pertains to estate and gift examinations, it is
available on line."

This is the table of contents of that section of
the Internal Revenue Service Manual that she referenced regarding "Estate and Gift Tax Examinations":

4.25.1 Estate and Gift Tax Examinations

Another more general explanation is posted by the IRS in its "Frequently Asked Questions on Estate Taxes", which answers "some of the more common questions and answers about Estate Tax issues."
That Q&A notes further IRS resources:
You may also find additional information in Publication 950 or some of the other forms and publications offered on our Forms Page.

Included in this area are the instructions to Forms 706 and 709. Within these instructions, you will find the tax rate schedules to the related returns.
Yet the warnings stated by the IRS there stand out; and so be very careful:
The laws on Estate and Gift Taxes are considered to be some of the most complicated in the Internal Revenue Code.

For further guidance, we strongly recommend that you visit with an estate tax practitioner (Attorney or CPA) who has considerable experience in this field. * * * [Emphasis added.]