Frequently Asked Questions

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Please enjoy this special bonus April 1 post from a longtime reader.

A new guest blogger on Procedurally Taxing, Don de Drain, recently stumbled upon a group of Frequently Asked Questions drafted by the IRS which were rejected for public consumption. Don found this list of Frequently Asked Questions while searching through the IRS’s website on the internet’s “wayback machine.” Apparently, the IRS forgot to completely delete this list of rejected Frequently Asked Questions.

We here at Procedurally Taxing thought it would be interest to readers to see how the IRS has managed to improve its list of Frequently Asked Questions since rejecting the Frequently Asked Questions set forth below. We are very thankful to Don for his assistance in locating these rejected Frequently Asked Questions and   hope you enjoy this rare opportunity to see some of the Frequently Asked Questions that the IRS decided not to put on their website.



Q: Who came up with the idea of issuing Frequently Asked Questions?

A. On advice of counsel, the person who came up with the idea of issuing Frequently Asked Questions is refusing to answer this question on the grounds that it may violate their 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination.


Q: Has the issuance of Frequently Asked Questions actually proven to be helpful?

A: The issuance of Frequently Asked Questions has proven to be very helpful to attorneys who like to challenge in court the validity of IRS rules that have not been published in the Federal Register under the Administrative Procedure Act.


Q: How often are Frequently Asked Questions actually asked?

A: Frequently.


Q: Seriously, how often is “Frequently?”

A: Once. After the question is asked here, no one else ever asks the question again.


Q: Who are the people who actually decide which Frequently Asked Questions to include on the IRS’s website?

A: See the answer to Question #1.


Q: Why does the IRS issue guidance like this in the form of questions?

A: Why not?


Q: Can we rely on the answers to Frequently Asked Questions?

A: Yes, except that you cannot rely on the answer to this question.


Q: Will I be penalized if I take a position on my tax return that is contrary to the answer to a Frequently Asked Question?

A: Only if the answer to the Frequently Asked Question is unintelligible.


Q: Are these Frequently Asked Questions binding on the IRS in Court?

A: Only if the Questions have been written by someone living in Thailand.


Q: Why is that?

A: Because it’s the Thai that binds.


Q: What do we do when there are conflicting answers provided by two different Frequently Asked Questions?

A: You pick the answer you want to pick. Then the IRS will pick the other answer if your tax return is audited, and the Tax Court will decide which answer it likes better.


Q: What is the actual location of the United States Tax Court?

A: We are not sure. We looked in the pocket of IRS Chief Counsel and did not find the Court there. We also looked in the pockets of some random taxpayers and did not find the Court there. The Tax Court appears to be an independent body located somewhere in the penumbras between Article I and Article III of the U.S. Constitution. As a result, the Tax Court is considering renaming itself the United States Tax Court of Quantum Physics.


  1. Norman Diamond says

    “We looked in the pocket of IRS Chief Counsel and did not find the Court there.”

    They looked in the right place. Quantum physics explains the temporary dislocation.

  2. Bill Nemeth, EA says

    Thank you for continuing to exhibit a refined sense of humor ! !

  3. Another question: What if you file an amended return per request (demand) of a Revenue agent assigned to your tax collection but then the IRS refuses to process it?

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