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Tax Analysts

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Tax Analysts

Nonprofit
Founded 1970
Headquarters Falls Church, Virginia, United States
Website taxanalysts.com

Tax Analysts is a nonprofit publisher of weekly magazines and daily online journals on tax policy and administration. Tax Analysts also promotes transparency in tax policymaking and holds regular conferences on key tax issues.

History

Thomas F. Field founded Tax Analysts in 1970 as part of an effort to expose tax policymaking to the general public at a time when it was being heavily influenced by special interests. The organization provided analysis on prominent policy debates, offered congressional testimony on proposed legislation and published op-eds that could reach a broader audience.[1] But within 10 years, the group had shifted focus and become the country's foremost provider of unbiased tax information with a style that since come to be regarded by tax professionals as "the epitome of hard-nosed impartiality."[2]

The organization underwent a restructuring at the end of 2001 as it sought to deal with globalization, technological advances and increased competition in the tax publishing arena. In 2001, Field retired from Tax Analysts and was succeeded by Christopher Bergin, who had until then been the editor Tax Notes, the organization's flagship publication.[1]

Since its inception, the organization has grown dramatically in size and scope, moving from a lightweight nonprofit to a global publisher with correspondents across the country and around the globe providing information for some 150,000 readers worldwide.[1][3]

Staffing and governance

Tax Analysts says it has the “largest tax-dedicated correspondent staff” of any organization, with more than 250 correspondents in the United States and around the world.[3] Overseeing this staff is the organization’s president and publisher, Christopher E. Bergin, who took the reins from founder Thomas Field in 2001.[4]

Board of directors

Besides Bergin, the Tax Analysts board of directors includes:[5]

Notable contributors

Publishing

The primary vehicle by which Tax Analysts pursues its goals is the publication of various weekly magazines covering legislative, administrative and judicial developments in tax law. Those publications include:

  • Tax Notes, Tax Analysts’ flagship publication, published weekly, provides news and in-depth commentary on federal tax developments;[6]
  • Tax Notes Today, daily online publication on federal taxation provides comprehensive federal tax news and commentary; [6]
  • State Tax Notes, providing state tax news, analysis, and commentary; published weekly;[7]
  • State Tax Today, daily online publication covering legislative, administrative and judicial developments in tax law in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories ;[7]
  • Tax Notes International, covering developments in tax policy around the world;[8]
  • Worldwide Tax Daily, daily publication provides international tax news, analysis, and commentary with correspondents in more than 180 nations;[8]
  • The Exempt Organization Tax Review, targeted at nonprofit organizations and relevant changes in tax policy at the state, federal and international levels (published daily online as EO Tax Today);[9] and
  • The Insurance Tax Review, covering changes in insurance taxation at the state, federal and international levels.[10]

The organization also publishes several reference sources, including:

  • Federal Research Library, compiling the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, IRS regulations, Treasury decisions and other primary sources;[11]
  • Worldwide Tax Treaties, a database of more than 5,000 tax treaties, tools for comparing treaties and news on global tax treaty developments;[12][13]
  • The Tax Directory, a directory of officials charged with writing, implementing and interpreting tax law across the country and around the world;[14] and
  • Withholding Worldwide, a customized service providing withholding data from sources around the world.[15]

Other activities

The TA mission statement calls for a commitment to “working for the transparency of tax rules, fostering increased dialogue between taxing authorities and taxpayers, and providing forums for education and debate." To those ends, the organization carries out several other functions beyond its publishing efforts.

FOIA advocacy

First, it has extensive time and effort to ensure public access to key documents in tax policy and administration. When necessary, it has sued the IRS for access to documents through which the agency provides guidance to its staff and individual taxpayers. Using the Freedom of Information Act, Tax Analysts fought for access to key documents in tax policy and administration. In 1972, the organization sued the Internal Revenue Service for access to private letter rulings (PLRs) and technical advice memorandums (TAMs) — crucial guidance documents that provided legal advice to specific taxpayers and IRS field agents.[1][2]

Over the years, this guidance had become a sort of “secret law” whereby the IRS decided how to apply the law to particular taxpayers and then refused to make the terms public. This practice left other taxpayers at a disadvantage, since the IRS relied on existing secret guidance when deciding subsequent cases. At the same time, it gave an unfair advantage to a few large law and accounting firms that had joined forces to create a private library of these undisclosed materials.[1][2]

The courts gave Tax Analysts access to PLRs, and Congress soon required public disclosure of TAMs as well. Those key victories provided the foundation for almost 40 years of subsequent litigation by Tax Analysts to defend disclosure and tax transparency. The organization continues to work for transparency in the administration of the tax law and recently forced the IRS to disclose guidance being sent to IRS field agents via email.[1][2][16]

Date Action Case Number
March 26, 2009 Stipulated Order Entered in Chief Counsel Two-Hour Advice Case Tax Analysts v. IRS; No. 1-05-cv-00934

(D.C. Cir. March 26, 2009)

July 24, 2007 D.C. Circuit Courts Affirms Two-Hour Rule Decision in favor of Tax Analysts Tax Analysts v. IRS; No. 06-5136

(D.C. Cir. July 24, 2007)

November 20, 2006 Tax Analysts files a FOIA suit against the IRS asking the agency to comply with "monthly performance reports" Tax Analysts et al. v. IRS; No. 1:06CV01983
February 27, 2006 The District Court for the District of Columbia determines that the IRS Office of Chief Counsel's written advice prepared in less than two hours is advice subject to section 6110's public inspection requirements, but that some IRS records are exempt from FOIA disclosure because they are predecisional and deliberative. Tax Analysts v. IRS; No. 05-0934.2
May 10, 2005 Tax Analysts files a FOIA suit against the IRS seeking disclosure of Chief Counsel Advice Memos Tax Analysts v. IRS; No. 05-0934
June 25, 2004 Tax Analysts Files FOIA Action for Release of Withheld Chief Counsel Advice Memorandums Tax Analysts v. IRS; No. 1:04CV01050
December 2, 2003 The District of Columbia Circuit, reversing the district court, holds that the IRS must disclose determinations revoking or denying tax exemptions. Tax Analysts v. IRS; No. 02-5278
August 27, 2002 District Court Denies FOIA Request for Letter Rulings Denying or Revoking Tax-Exempt Status Tax Analysts v. IRS; No. 00-2914 (RMU)

Conferences

Tax Analysts hosts policy forums and roundtable discussions throughout the year that bring together tax experts, economists, and policymakers to discuss issues concerning federal, state, and international taxation.[1]

Tax Analysts Blogs

Tax Analysts also dedicates a portion of its website to blogs, where some of its leading writers blog frequently about tax issues. [17]

Tax History Project

In 1995 Tax Analysts created the Tax History Project to provide information about the history of American taxation to scholars, policymakers, students, citizens, and the media. The project provides access to web-based documentary publications, original historical research, access to tax returns filed by U.S. presidents and other archival data. [18]

References

External links

  • Tax Analysts
  • Tax History Project
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