New Schedule UTP: ‘Uncertain Tax Positions in the Age of Transparency’

49 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2011  

Bret Wells

University of Houston Law Center

Date Written: July 11, 2011

Abstract

The voluntary tax-compliance system employed by the United States relies on the self-assessment of taxpayers of their own tax return. And yet, at least historically, the nation’s tax reporting standards generally have provided a lenient approach towards a taxpayer’s self-assessment of its own tax liability. The added transparency arising from FIN 48 and the adoption of SOX requirements has made it clear that the size of the tax under-reporting with respect to unsustainable tax positions is significant.

The publication of final Schedule UTP is an interesting new chapter in tax compliance. After the taxpayer signs the face of the tax return where the taxpayer swears under penalty of perjury that the information contained in the return is true, accurate and complete, the taxpayer is now required to disclose on final Schedule UTP each of the tax positions contained in the tax return that the taxpayer, in its own judgment, is not sustainable at the amounts claimed on the tax return. This article explores the disclosure issues and potential implications associated with compliance with new Schedule UTP.

Keywords: Schedule UTP, Attorney-Client Privilege, Tax Accrual Workpapers, FIN 48 Workpapers, Announcement 2010-30, Uncertain Tax Positions

Suggested Citation

Wells, Bret, New Schedule UTP: ‘Uncertain Tax Positions in the Age of Transparency’ (July 11, 2011). Baylor Law Review, Vol. 63, No. 2, 2011; U of Houston Law Center No. 2011-A-5. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1883846

Bret Wells (Contact Author)

University of Houston Law Center ( email )

4604 Calhoun Road
Houston, TX 77204-6060
United States

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