I need help doing a tax research project

This was a team project but I am doing everything on my own at the last minute since my team is not on point.

Your team should use the scenario below of tax related information to respond, in memorandum form, to Thomas Drake’s inquiry regarding the Section 199A deduction and its applicability to his business.

One submission of the tax research memorandum per team is expected.

Thomas Drake’s 2018 Tax Scenario

Thomas Drake is a small business owner, operating a manufacturing plant in Chicago, Illinois (as an S-Corp.) He has heard about a new tax break called Section 199A (deduction for qualified business income) wherein he may be entitled to a deduction of up to 20% of his qualified business income. If he can qualify for this deduction, it would result in significant tax savings for his business. Consequently, he contacts your accounting firm to find out exactly what this deduction entails, and how, or if, he can qualify.

Thomas provides the CPA firm with the following information regarding his 2018 estimated income from his business, Rebecca, his spouse’s income, and asset and payroll information related to his company. (Thomas and Rebecca file “married filing jointly.”)

Item Amount
Net Income from Operations (S Corp) $175,000
Spouse’s (Rebecca) Income (from unrelated business) $50,000
Corporate Payroll $150,000
Corporate Total Assets $1,500,000
Taxable Income from Form 1040 $160,000
(Total Tax for Drake’s after allowable deductions unrelated to the business)

Your team will prepare a tax research memorandum detailing the statutory framework of this deduction, a thorough explanation of Section 199A and all the key definitions, a determination of whether Thomas qualifies for the deduction, a determination of the amount of this deduction, and what Thomas could do to maximize this deduction in the future. The memorandum must be supported by tax research using IRC code, tax cases if any, and other scholarly journals and references. Since some of this data is estimated, he is asking for a general analysis of his tax situation relative to this deduction.

Some specific issues which must be addressed are the following:

  • What is qualified business income (QBI)? What is included and what is not?
  • What is a qualified trade or business (SSTB)?
  • Any limitations, income or otherwise on this deduction?
  • What are some planning strategies for help Thomas maximize this deduction in future years?
  • What is an estimate of the amount of the deduction for 2018, if any?

The memorandum should be 7 – 10 pages with references to the IRC code and other tax support. This memorandum will serve as the basis for the team PowerPoint presentation due in Week 8.

Performing tax research to find correct answers to a given tax situation, and composing memorandums summarizing these findings, are important parts of tax practice. As outlined in your text, there are several authoritative primary tax law sources. The first, the Internal Revenue Code, is the law enacted by Congress. The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service publish a number of materials that interpret and provide decisions, pronouncing their interpretation and application of the Code, including treasury regulations, revenue rulings, and revenue procedures. Finally, courts are often asked to hear tax disputes between taxpayers and the United States, and these courts issue rulings that interpret and apply the tax law, creating additional tax authority in the process. These combined writings constitute primary tax law authority, and these are the authorities that tax practitioners rely upon when a client asks for their opinions regarding how a proposed or a completed transaction should be treated for tax purposes.

Some of the more significant guidelines for this tax memorandum include the following:

  • Your submission must be completed in Microsoft Word.
  • You must use a reasonably easy-to-read font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, in at least a 12-point font size. Each page must have at least a 1-inch margin on all sides and be double spaced.
  • Appropriate citations are required.
  • The tax memorandum must be in traditional tax memorandum format, as outlined in your text. .
  • All DeVry University policies are in effect, including the Plagiarism Policy.
  • The team paper is due at the end of Week 7 of the course.
  • This assignment is worth 200 points. You will be graded on the overall quality of your submission, including the quality and thoroughness of your analysis and the professionalism of your submission. (See the grading rubric)

Tax research memorandums use a fairly standard format and structure. The four parts include the following.

  1. Facts: In this section, you summarize the facts about the transaction or events that are relevant and material to the tax questions being asked. Frame them as precisely and succinctly as possible, and write them so that they can be understood by someone who has no knowledge of the underlying facts.
  2. Issues: This is a succinct question that you are trying to answer or resolve in the memorandum.
  3. Analysis: This section contains all of the substantive analysis that you needed to perform in order to come to reach a conclusion on the issue presented. It discusses, in logical order, the various tax authorities to establish the tax rule or rules that apply to the fact pattern given. This includes such efforts as an analysis of the facts of these other cases and the language of the applicable Code section(s) at issue. Once the rules are established, it then applies those rules to the facts in the case.
  4. Conclusions: This section provides the answer to the taxpayer’s inquiry along with any tax planning suggestions for future implementation.

I have also included how this would be graded to make you that everything is included that is needed.

Tax Research Grading Rubric

Tax Research Grading Rubric
Criteria Ratings Pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeFact SectionAccuracy in stating/summarizing the relevant facts; professionalism of submission (grammar, punctuation, clarity.)
25.0 ptsExcellent

The facts are accurately, completely, and clearly stated.

20.0 ptsGood

The facts were presented with a minimum of errors.

15.0 ptsLimited

The facts were poorly stated and suggest a lack of understanding of the tax scenario.

25.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeIssue SectionAccuracy in identifying the relevant issues and collateral considerations.
25.0 ptsExcellent

The issues are accurately, completely, and clearly stated.

20.0 ptsGood

The issues were presented with a minimum of errors.

15.0 ptsLimited

The issues were poorly stated or incomplete in the memorandum.

25.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAnalysis SectionAccuracy and thoroughness of the analysis; accuracy and thoroughness of the discussion and interpretation of relevant authoritative tax resources; the appropriate determination of applicable tax regulations and the appropriate application of the regulations to the facts of the case.
125.0 ptsExcellent

The analysis is thorough, well documented, and logical.

100.0 ptsGood

The analysis could have been expanded. The discussions of issues and definitions were limited. The tax research could have been more extensive.

75.0 ptsLimited

The analysis was lacking. All the issues were not discussed or not discussed in depth in the memorandum. Appropriate authoritative tax resources were not well researched.

125.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeConclusion SectionSuccinctness, clarity, and thoroughness of the answers or conclusions.
25.0 ptsExcellent

The conclusions follow from the analysis and address the taxpayer’s main issue.

20.0 ptsGood

The conclusions and tax strategy generally followed from the analysis.

15.0 ptsLimited

The conclusions in the memorandum were vague and would not provide a tax strategy for the taxpayer.

25.0 pts
Total Points: 200.0