Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ten (?) Commandments of Basic Tax Law

My Union College Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) students are now studying hard for their upcoming IRS Certification Test in Basic tax law, which I'll give on the first day of class, next Monday.

I have annotated and highlighted the key sections of the so-called "bible" of VITA, Pub 4012, the handy reference tool with flow-charts going through the logic of all the bed buffaloes in the tax law applicable to tax returns that are "within the scope of certification" for VITA sites.

You can find my training resource website for students by clicking here.

But there is quite a maze of intersecting logical questions in determining the answers to many tax questions, so I thought I would try to help my students out by coming up with a few hard-and-fast absolute rules--I will call them the "Commandments of Tax Law."

I am not sure if there will be exactly ten of them, but I'll get started with a few and I'm open to suggestions in the comments for more.

The key to being a commandment is that it needs to be a universally true and simple tax rule that has wide applicability in basic tax law.

Stay tuned for the first few.

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