SSTS No. 7, Form and Content of Advice to Taxpayers – Communication and Documentation FAQs

June 27, 2016


The answers to these frequently asked questions (FAQs) are based on guidance developed by the SSTS Guidance Task Force in response to questions that were presented during the SSTS public exposure period and since that time in administering the SSTSs. These FAQs are not rules, regulations, or official statements of the Tax Executive Committee issued pursuant to its rule-making authority and, therefore are not authoritative guidance.

The SSTSs should be used in conjunction with these FAQs. The answers to these FAQs may not necessarily address the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service, other tax regulatory bodies, and State Boards of Accountancy. These bodies may have rules which differ from those of the AICPA. A member should consult these other sources to confirm compliance with all appropriate regulatory requirements.


SSTS No. 7, Form and Content of Advice to Taxpayers, offers guidance to members for communicating tax advice to taxpayers on federal, state, local, and international tax matters. Tax advice is a broad topic and includes the application of tax law (statutes, regulations, case law, and other issued guidance of a specific jurisdiction) to the specific facts and circumstances of a transaction, ongoing operations and activities, or planning situations of a taxpayer. Both compliance and planning engagements are included.

When providing advice on federal tax matters, members should also look to Circular 230, §10.37 Requirements for written advice. This section provides members with a detailed explanation of the applicable rules and considerations for written advice in federal tax matters and the process a member should use in providing both written and oral advice. In addition, members should look to Paragraph 7 of SSTS No. 7 when deciding on the form of written advice to taxpayers.