Actions on Decisions (AOD) are formal memoranda prepared by the IRS Office of Chief Counsel that announce the future litigation position the IRS will take with regard to a specific court decision. The recommendation contained in an AOD becomes the notice of acquiescence.
"It is the policy of the Internal Revenue Service to announce at an early date whether it will follow the holdings of lower courts in certain cases. An Action on Decision (A.O.D.) is the document making such an announcement. An Action on Decision is issued at the discretion of the Service only on unappealed issues, decided adverse to the government. Generally, an Action on Decision is issued where guidance would be helpful to Service personnel working with the same or similar issues. Unlike a Treasury Regulation or a Revenue Ruling, an Action on Decision is not an affirmative statement of Service position. It is not intended to serve as public guidance and may not be cited as precedent." Internal Revenue Manual 188.8.131.52.9.8.1 (1) (Jan. 1, 2006).
Actions on Decisions are available for free online as well as on subscription databases like Lexis and Westlaw. A selection of these resources is listed below.
Acquiescences and Nonacquiescences are statements issued by the IRS in response to the holdings in tax cases. The statement indicates whether the Service will or will not follow the holding. If they acquiesce, they accept the holding. If they acquiesce in result only, they accept the holding but raise concern about the reasoning. If they nonacquiesce, they disagree with the holding.
"The recommendation in every Action on Decision is summarized as acquiescence, acquiescence in result only, or nonacquiescence. Both 'acquiescence' and 'acquiescence in result only' mean that the Service accepts the holding of the court in a case and that the Service will follow it in disposing of cases with the same controlling facts. The following differences are noted:
Notices of Acquiescence are published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin and are available on the library's VitalLaw computer and in the Standard Federal Tax Reporter. See the resources below for more details.
Actions on Decisions Internal Revenue Service
Coverage begins with 1997.
IRS Actions on Decisions
Available on the library's Lexis computers. From the Practice Area tab, select Tax Law > All Tax Law Administrative Materials > IRS Actions on Decisions. IRS Action on Decisions are documents issued by the Internal Revenue Service which discuss decisions rendered on a private or corporate taxpayer. Coverage falls from September 1963 through Current.
IRS Actions on Decisions
Available on the library's Westlaw computers. From the Practice areas tab, select Tax > Administrative Decisions & Guidance > All Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Materials > Actions on Decisions. Both Actions on Decisions and Announcements of Acquiescence or Nonacquiescence are included. A document is a legal memorandum that announces the position of the Service on an adverse decision by a trial or appellate court and whether to acquiesce or nonacquiesce in an adverse Tax Court decision. Coverage begins with 1967 with selected documents from 1935 through 1966.
Actions on Decisions
Available on the library's Bloomberg Law computers. From All Legal Content Search, select U.S. Regulatory & Administrative > U.S. Government Departments & Agencies > Internal Revenue Service > Guidance & Interpretation > Directives & Advice > Actions on Decisions. An Action on Decision is a formal memorandum prepared by the IRS Office of Chief Counsel that announces the future litigation position the IRS will take with regard to the court decision addressed by the AOD. Coverage begins with May 1997.
Available on the library's VitalLaw computer. From Practice Areas, select Tax - Federal > Primary Sources > IRS Administrative Rulings & Positions > See All > Acquiescence/Nonacquiescence Announcements. Acquiescence Announcements acknowledge that the IRS accepts a conclusion reached by the Tax Court or other federal courts, but are not necessarily acceptance or approval of all the reasons assigned by the court for its conclusions. A Nonacquiescence Announcement indicates that the IRS will not treat a Tax Court or other federal court decision as a precedent with regard to issues decided unfavorable to the IRS. Coverage begins with April 28, 1986.
Actions on Decisions
Available on the library's VitalLaw computer. From Practice Areas, select Tax - Federal > Primary Sources > IRS Administrative Rulings & Positions > See All > Actions on Decisions. An Action on Decision is the document in which the IRS announces its policy on whether it will follow the holding in a certain case. An Action on Decision is issued at the discretion of the IRS only on issues that have not been appealed and have been decided adverse to the government. Coverage begins with March 16, 1967.
Notices of Acquiescence are published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. Actions on Decisions (the formal memoranda) are not.
The Internal Revenue Bulletin is available for free online as well as on many legal databases, including the member database HeinOnline and on the library's in house Lexis and Westlaw computers. See the Internal Revenue Bulletin page of this guide for more information.
The Standard Federal Tax Reporter includes Actions on Decisions and Acquiescences and Nonacquiescences announcements.
Jenkins has access to the Standard Federal Tax Reporter on the library's VitalLaw computer beginning with 1986. Pre-1986 coverage is available on the member database HeinOnline. Select coverage is also available in print. See the Standard Federal Tax Reporter page of this guide for more information.