On Demand Audio

Tax Procedure: IRS Methods of Obtaining Information From and About Taxpayers

(423 reviews)

Produced on December 06, 2019

Taught by
$ 59 Tax Law and Constitutional Law In Stock
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Course Information

Time 63 minutes
Difficulty Beginner

Course Description

The IRS has various methods of obtaining information from and about taxpayers. Taxpayers and attorneys are often surprised to learn how much power the IRS has to obtain information. This power, however, is not unlimited. In this program, attorney Megan L. Brackney will discuss the IRS’s methods of obtaining information, the scope of the IRS’s authority to obtain information, taxpayer rights, defending against unreasonable demands, and the tax practitioner’s ethical obligations when responding to IRS requests for information. 

Specifically, the course will cover the Information Document Request and summons procedures for documents and interviews directed to taxpayers and third parties, including John Doe summonses. It will also discuss the IRS’s ability to obtain information from outside the United States through Formal Information Document Requests to the taxpayer and requests to other countries under treaty provisions.  

Lastly, the program will explore taxpayer rights and defenses and will discuss how these defenses are raised and when and how the IRS can compel compliance with its requests for information. The Circular 230 provisions relating to a tax practitioner’s conduct when responding to IRS requests for information will also be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the tools that the IRS uses to gather information from and about taxpayers
  2. Examine the potential defenses and privileges that may limit the IRS’s ability to obtain information
  3. Discuss the methods of enforcement of IRS summons and defenses to enforcement, such as asserting applicable privileges
  4. Explore the practitioner’s ethical obligations when responding to IRS’s request for information

Credit Information

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Megan L. Brackney

Kostelanetz & Fink

Megan L. Brackney is a partner at Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP in New York City.  Ms. Brackney’s practice is primarily focused on tax controversy, including civil and criminal issues on both the federal and state and local levels.  Ms. Brackney represents clients in audits and investigations, as well as litigation in the Tax Court and state and federal courts. Ms. Brackney received her J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law and her LL.M. in Taxation from New York University.  Ms. Brackney teaches Tax Procedure as an adjunct professor at New York University.  

Ms. Brackney is the Vice Chair of Committee Operations for the American Bar Association Section of Taxation, a member of the New York State Bar Association Tax Section’s Executive Committee, and a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel.  Ms. Brackney frequently speaks and writes on tax controversy topics. Ms. Brackney annually contributes to the ABA publication, Effectively Representing Your Client Before the IRS, is a regular columnist for the “Tax Controversy Corner” of The Journal of Passthrough Entities, and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Taxation and The Tax Lawyer.  Ms. Brackney has been recognized by New York Super Lawyers since 2012. 


lawrence r.




Gregory R.

Excellent course; very informative.

Gina R. A.

She was excellent - clear and streamlined.

Thomas J.

Presentation was easily digestible for a neophyte such as myself.

Dwight B.


Michael E. G.

Very informative for the non-tax practitioner

Holly S.

Great speaker!

Daphney F.

Very informative.

Robert S.

All attorneys whether they practice tax law or not can benefit from this very relevant, useful and timely topic.

Georgian P.

Very interesting program. Speaker was knowledgeable and professional. Informative course material. Enjoyed presentation.

Alexander H.


Letcher E.

Great course. Would love follow up course.

Rebecca D.

I thought this was great and taught in a way it was easy to understand!

John K.

Very well done.

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