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Chapter #-Page 1 Tax Research THE REVISION PROCESS Revising, Editing and Proofreading for Accounting Michelle Doss, 2006

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  • Slide 1
  • Chapter #-Page 1 Tax Research THE REVISION PROCESS Revising, Editing and Proofreading for Accounting Michelle Doss, 2006
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  • Chapter #-Page 2 Tax Research THE WRITING PROCESS Prewriting Writing Revision
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  • Chapter #-Page 3 Tax Research WRITING THE TAX MEMO The tax memo contains the following: 1.Client 2.Relevant facts 3.Specific issues 4.Conclusions 5.Support 6.Actions to be taken 7.Preparer
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  • Chapter #-Page 4 Tax Research REVISING, EDITING, AND PROOFREADING 1.Revising a.Occurs at the level of ideas b.Focuses on questions of purpose, audience and voice c.May mean deleting entire sections and starting over 2.Editing a.Occurs at the level of language b.Sharpens your word choice and organization to make it as precise and effective as possible c.Follows revision for most effective use of time d.May focus on grammar, usage, and mechanics 3.Proofreading a.Checks for accuracy and correctness b.Follows all other revision for most effective use of time c.Focuses on grammar, usage, and mechanics
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  • Chapter #-Page 5 Tax Research QUESTIONS OF PURPOSE Why am I writing this? To convey the results of the research to a superior Do all parts of the paper meet/advance this purpose? Have I stated the purpose clearly?
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  • Chapter #-Page 6 Tax Research QUESTIONS OF AUDIENCE Have I provided the full context and background for audience? Usually fellow tax practitioners are well-versed in federal tax law, understanding frequent and complete references to primary and secondary sources of the tax law, and needing no introduction to the hierarchy of tax authority or to statutory citation practices Have I answered all questions and/or objections my audience might have? Will my tone and style most effectively communicate my ideas to my audience so that I get the response intended?
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  • Chapter #-Page 7 Tax Research 10 REVISING STRATEGIES 1.Let it sit. 2.Reread as if for the first time. 3.Test your claim. 4.Evaluate your evidence. 5.Evaluate your paragraphs. 6.Dialogue with your paper. 7.Eliminate extraneous material 8.Add new details. 9.Switch perspective. 10.Be willing to let it go and start over.
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  • Chapter #-Page 8 Tax Research EDITING SENTENCES 1.Are the issues, conclusions and supporting analysis stated clearly and unambiguously? 2.Is each sentence in the correct form (statement, question, etc.)? 3.Does each statement provide the appropriate amount of detail? 4.Are the issues numbered and arranged in the most logical order? 5.Does each word, phrase, clause make sense and have purpose? 6.Do the punctuation marks guide the reader in understanding how to read the sentence?
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  • Chapter #-Page 9 Tax Research STATING YOUR ISSUES: An Example Not a question and vague: A question arises as to how much the taxpayer can deduct for the payment he made for the expense. Question and specific: Can part or all of the $13,000 payment be deducted and, if so, what is the character of the deduction?
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  • Chapter #-Page 10 Tax Research STATING ISSUES: An Example Unclear tax concept What is the tax treatment for a company under Reg. 1.162-5(c)(1) when it pays its employees tuition? Explicit tax concept Can Borden Company deduct the $2,300 it pays to Smith to cover his tuition?
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  • Chapter #-Page 11 Tax Research STATING ISSUES: An Example Emphasize tax concepts rather than financial accounting concepts: Accounting concept Can Bikes-R-Us, Inc. expense the rental payment to its chief financial officer? Tax concept Can Bikes-R-Us, Inc. deduct the rental payment to its chief financial officer?
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  • Chapter #-Page 12 Tax Research STATING YOUR SUPPORTING ANALYSIS: An Example Insufficient Detail: The theft loss is deductible in 2006 according to IRC 165(e). Better: IRC 165(e) indicates that theft losses are deductible in the taxable year sustained. Thus, the theft loss is deductible in 2006.
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  • Chapter #-Page 13 Tax Research EDITING FOR WORDINESS Wordiness: Using more words than necessary when making ones point; needlessly distracts the reader from the main points. Eliminating wordiness results in a concise writing style that is easier to read and provides fewer opportunities for misinterpretation.
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  • Chapter #-Page 14 Tax Research TAX-RELATED WORDINESS Wordy 1.Code Section 61 2.In Smith v. U.S., the court held 3.Take a deduction for 4.Tax deductible 5.The Smith v. U.S. decision 6.United States Better 1.61 (Sec. 61) 2.In Smith, the court held 3.Deduct 4.Deductible 5.The Smith decision 6.U.S.
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  • Chapter #-Page 15 Tax Research REVISION SKILLS Original: Expenses incurred by a taxpayer during a given year in regard to the conduct of a trade or business can be deducted from net income according to Internal Revenue Code Section 162 and Treasury Regulation Section 1.162. Improved: IRC 162 and Reg. 1.162-1 allow deductions for ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred in the year in connection with the conduct of a trade or business.
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  • Chapter #-Page 16 Tax Research ACTIVE AND PASSIVE VOICE Active Voice: the subject does the action of the verb The committee is looking into the matter. Passive: the subject does not do the action of the verb. The matter is being looked into by the committee.
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  • Chapter #-Page 17 Tax Research When to use Active vs. Passive Active Most messages in business and technical writing Passive The doer is unknown, unimportant, clear from the context, or appropriate to hide.
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  • Chapter #-Page 18 Tax Research CONVEYING BAD NEWS Active: I think your farming activity is a hobby and, thus, disallow your deduction. Less Confrontational: Passive: Since your farming activity is a hobby, no deductible loss is allowed. Active: The IRS considers your farming activity to be a hobby and, thus, disallows your deduction.
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  • Chapter #-Page 19 Tax Research REVISION SKILLS Original: In addition to the above mentioned Code Section in the event that education expenses maintain or improve skills required of the taxpayer in his employment or education expenses are required in order to retain his position or rate of compensation an expense is allowed by Regulation 1.162-5. Improved: Additionally, Reg. 1.162-5(a) allows a deduction if education expenses either (1) maintain or improve skills required of the taxpayer in his/her employment or (2) are required in order to retain his/her position or rate of compensation.
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  • Chapter #-Page 20 Tax Research EDITING FOR PARALLEL STRUCTURES Parallel structures: two or more phrases or sentences that have the same grammatical structure and use the same parts of speech Make your sentences clearer and easier to read Help your reader see the connections between ideas in a series of consecutive sentences
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  • Chapter #-Page 21 Tax Research EDITING FOR PARALLELISM Without parallelism: Prepare letter to review with client The client should obtain multiple appraisals of building. Appraisal should be attached to clients tax return. With parallelism: Prepare letter to review with client. Suggest client obtain multiple appraisals of building. Attach appraisal to clients tax return.
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  • Chapter #-Page 22 Tax Research EDITING PUNCTUATION Commas Act as Yield signs for the reader Allow the reader to pause, digest the information, and continue with the same main idea
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  • Chapter #-Page 23 Tax Research COMMON USAGE FOR COMMAS 1.Before coordinating conjunctions (independent clauses and items in a series) The client is entitled to deduct the appraisal of the building, and the deduction should be treated as an itemized deduction. NOTE: You must have a coordinating conjunction with a comma to separate two independent clauses.
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  • Chapter #-Page 24 Tax Research COMMON USAGE FOR COMMAS 2.To set off introductory elements After the fire department finishes using the building, Ross plans to demolish the building and leave the lot vacant.
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  • Chapter #-Page 25 Tax Research COMMON USAGE FOR COMMAS 3.To set off nonrestrictive modifiers or appositives The new ruling, which weakened our conclusion considerably, is not the only applicable. (nonrestrictive) The new ruling that weakens our conclusion considerably should be applied. (restrictive) NOTE: Be careful that you do not separate your subject and verb with a comma! Incorrect: The hurricane heading our way, caused some to panic. Correct: The hurricane heading our way caused some to panic.
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  • Chapter #-Page 26 Tax Research COMMON USAGE FOR COMMAS 4.Also use commas To set off parenthetical expressions and elements of contrast To set off interjections, tag sentences, and direct address Between quotations and attributory phrases With numbers, dates, names and addresses Whenever necessary to prevent misreading TIP: Use the search function to find all your commas. Evaluate your use, and edit where necessary.
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  • Chapter #-Page 27 Tax Research EDITING PUNCTUATION Semi-colons Act as Stop Signs Allow the reader to stop, digest the information, and move to a closely-related idea
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  • Chapter #-Page 28 Tax Researc