The Denial of IRS Access to Its Adversary's Playbook

27 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2015 Last revised: 7 Aug 2015

See all articles by Allen Madison

Allen Madison

University of South Dakota Law School

Date Written: June 24, 2015


When examining a corporate taxpayer, the IRS often seeks special accounting documents called tax accrual workpapers. These workpapers often contain privileged documents, but the IRS does not care. It believes it is entitled to the documents despite that the work product doctrine protects the documents from the IRS's investigation authority. Although the law seems clear, some courts appear to have ignored the law and permitted the IRS to obtain the documents in some cases. Differing results under similar circumstances have made the law less clear. The IRS should stop trying to obtain taxpayers' work product, and the Supreme Court should clear up the law with respect to these documents.

Keywords: Tax, taxation, tax procedure, IRS, privilege, work product, work product protection

JEL Classification: H00, H20, H25, H29, H80, K00, K19, K20, K29, K30, K34, K39, K40, K41, K49, M40, M41, M49

Suggested Citation

Madison, Allen, The Denial of IRS Access to Its Adversary's Playbook (June 24, 2015). South Dakota Law Review, Vol. 60, 232, 2015. Available at SSRN:

Allen Madison (Contact Author)

University of South Dakota Law School ( email )

414 E. Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
United States


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