The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publishes Treasury Regulations and revenue rulings, in part, to ease compliance problems for taxpayers by providing the IRS's interpretation of (and position on) tax law. The general public should be able to rely on these pronouncements when engaging in tax‐planning and/or tax‐compliance activities. As such, the IRS should consistently follow them. If the IRS takes a position contrary to these pronouncements and/or disregards them in pursuing an issue, then increased confusion results. In several instances, the IRS has chosen to ignore its revenue rulings or to consider them wrong even though the rulings continue to be in full force.

This article identifies situations where the IRS has chosen to disregard its revenue rulings. The historical aspect of each situation where the IRS disregarded its revenue rulings is presented, along with the courts' responses to this action. Implications and conclusions of the IRS's actions are discussed.

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