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Influential Court Decisions
As with any form of law, tax law is open to interpretation, and nothing has more influence on the accepted meaning of a law than precedent. Your first Application this week will involve independently researching and analyzing a particularly influential case, and expressing your opinion on its ruling. Do you think the ruling as been interpreted correctly? Do you agree with the ruling at all?
Select one of the following cases:
•Valero Energy Corp. v. United States
 •United States v. Textron, Inc.
Note: Search the LexisNexis Academic database to find these cases.
With the case you choose, conduct a search of recent news and practitioner articles that address the significance of your case as it relates to the rendition of tax advice.
Write a memo that summarizes the article. Your memo should include your opinion regarding the impact the case has had on furnishing tax advice and whether you agree with the outcome. Be sure to support your position by referring to the authoritative sources that you have identified.
Your written assignments must follow APA guidelines. Be sure to support your work with specific citations from this week’s Learning Resources and additional sources as appropriate.
Course Text
 •South-Western Federal Taxation: Comprehensive Volume
Chapter 26, “Tax Practice and Ethics”
This chapter provides some examples of ethical and legal issues that taxpayers should consider, along with the consequences of noncompliance. Tax law is very complicated, and decisions are not always black and white.
 •AICPA Tax Center. (n.d.). Standards and Ethics.
 Retrieved from https://www.aicpa.org/InterestAreas/Tax/Resources/StandardsEthics/Pages/default.aspx
This section of the AICPA website lists several articles discussing ethics in tax practice.
•AICPA Tax Center. (n.d.). Treasury Department Circular No. 230.
 Retrieved from https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/pcir230.pdf
This site includes the Circular No. 230 as well as several other articles discussing the circular. The circular describes the rules for recognizing professionals who represent taxpayers to the IRS.
 •Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service. (2008). IRS publication 971: Innocent spouse relief. Washington, DC: Author.
 Retrieved from https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p971.pdf
This publication explains some of the cases in which a taxpayer can be relieved of the tax responsibilities of his or her spouse.
Optional Resources
 •Green, S. P. (2009). What is wrong with tax evasion? [Electronic Version]. Houston Business and Tax Law Journal, 9(220).
 Retrieved from LexisNexis Academic database
This article asks why so many citizens evade their taxes, and how these evaders feel about their actions. The article also discusses the inconsistent penalties for tax evasion.
Cengagebrain.com. (2011). South-Western Federal Taxation 2012: Comprehensive, 35th Edition.
 Retrieved from https://websites.swlearning.com/cgi-wadsworth/course_products_wp.pl?fid=M20b&product_isbn_issn=9781111221720&discipline_number=419
This companion site includes additional material to help you understand the book’s subject matter.

Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service. (2010). Appeals… Resolving tax disputes. (2010).
 Retrieved from https://www.irs.gov/individuals/content/0,,id=98196,00.html
This section of the IRS website explains the appeals process for settling tax disagreements.

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