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The Market Segment Specialization Program (MSSP) Audit Techniques Guide (ATG) on IRC section 183 Farm Hobby Losses has been developed to provide guidance to Revenue Agents and Tax Auditors in pursuing the application of IRC section 183 with respect to horse activities and cattle operations. Historically, IRC section 183 has been a difficult issue to pursue. The development of the issue is a fact-gathering initiative. The application of IRC section 183 is based upon the examiner's understanding of the taxpayer's industry as well as the taxpayer's mode of operation within that industry. IRC section 183 and the accompanying Treasury Regulations do not provide absolute definition, but serve to provide guidance in formulating the facts into a conclusion. Hazards of litigation have also been a deterrent toward the pursuit of IRC section 183. As a result, examiners have been reluctant to allocate exam time. This ATG will help to further develop the weaker areas within these cases and reduce the hazards of litigation. While IRC section 183 has been referred as the Hobby Loss section of the Internal Revenue Code, examiners should refrain from using such terminology. The actual language of the Code refers to "Activities Not Engaged in for Profit." Some taxpayers resist this "hobby" terminology and the implications therein. For whatever reason taxpayers have engaged in these activities, albeit for the pleasure of a hobby or the tax benefits derived, these activities were not engaged in for the sake of deriving a profit. The examiner should use this guide during all phases of an examination where the provisions of IRC section 183 may be applicable. The purpose of the ATG is to: · Provide background about the market segment. · Identify frequent and/or unique issues. · Provide examination techniques. · Discuss use of applicable law and court cases. The use of this audit techniques guide will enable the examiner to: 1. Identify and develop issues specific to the market segment. 2. Conduct an examination consistent with other market segment examinations throughout the Service.
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