Costs described

Costs described -
(1) In general. The costs described in this paragraph are the reasonable and necessary amount of costs incurred by the taxpayer to present the taxpayer's position with respect to the merits of the tax controversy or the recovery of reasonable administrative costs. These costs include -
(i) Any administrative fees or similar charges imposed by the Internal Revenue Service;
(ii) Reasonable expenses of expert witnesses;
(iii) Reasonable costs of any study, analysis, engineering report, test or project that is necessary for, and incurred in preparation of, the taxpayer's case; and
(iv) Reasonable fees paid or incurred for the services of a representative (as defined in paragraph (b)(2) of this section) in connection with the administrative proceeding.
(2) Representative and specially qualified representative -
(i) Representative. A representative is a person compensated for services rendered in connection with the administrative proceeding, who is authorized to practice before the Internal Revenue Service or the Tax Court.
(ii) Specially qualified representative. For purposes of paragraphs (b)(3)(iii) and (c)(2)(ii) of this section, a specially qualified representative is a representative (as defined in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section) possessing a distinctive knowledge or a unique and specialized skill that is necessary to adequately represent the taxpayer in the proceeding. Examples of a unique and specialized skill or distinctive knowledge would be an identifiable practice specialty such as patent law or knowledge of a foreign law or language where that specialty or knowledge is necessary to adequately represent the taxpayer in the proceeding. For purposes of this paragraph, neither knowledge of tax law nor experience in representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service is considered distinctive knowledge or a unique and specialized skill. An extraordinary level of general representational knowledge and ability that is useful in all proceedings is not considered, in and of itself, distinctive knowledge or a unique and specialized skill. Specially qualified representatives also do not include those who have a distinctive knowledge of the underlying subject matter of the controversy in circumstances where that distinctive knowledge could reasonably be supplied through the use of an expert, or could readily be obtained through literature pertaining to the subject.
(3) Limitation on fees for a representative -
(i) In general. Except as otherwise provided in this section, fees incurred after January 18, 1999, and described in paragraph (b)(1)(iv) of this section that are recoverable under section 7430 and the regulations thereunder as reasonable administrative costs may not exceed $125 per hour (as adjusted for an increase in the cost of living and, if appropriate, a special factor adjustment).
(ii) Cost of living adjustment. The Internal Revenue Service will make a cost of living adjustment to the $125 per hour limitation for fees incurred in any calendar year beginning after December 31, 1996. The cost of living adjustment will be an amount equal to $125 multiplied by the cost of living adjustment determined under section 1(f)(3) for the calendar year (substituting “calendar year 1995” for “calendar year 1992” in section 1(f)(3)(B)). If the dollar limitation as adjusted by this cost of living increase is not a multiple of $10, the dollar amount will be rounded to the nearest multiple of $10 (rounding up if the amount is a multiple of $5).
(B) Percentage adjustment. For purposes of paragraph (b)(3)(ii)(A) of this section, the base year for determining the cost of living adjustment is the calendar year 1986. The cost of living adjustment for fees incurred in any calendar year subsequent to 1986 is the percentage (if any) by which the yearly average CPI--U for the calendar year immediately prior to the year in which the fees are incurred exceeds the January CPI--U for the calendar year 1986.
(iii) Special factor adjustment -
(A) In general. If the presence of a special factor is demonstrated by the taxpayer, the amount reimbursable is the amount of reasonable fees paid or incurred by the taxpayer in connection with the proceeding for the services of a representative as defined in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section.
(B) Special factor. A special factor is a factor, other than an increase in the cost of living, that justifies an increase in the $125 per hour limitation of section 7430(c)(1)(B)(iii). The undesirability of the case, the work and the ability of counsel, the results obtained, and customary fees and awards in other cases, are factors applicable to a broad spectrum of litigation and do not constitute special factors for the purpose of increasing the $125 per hour limitation. By contrast, the limited availability of a specially qualified representative for the proceeding, the limited local availability of tax expertise, and the difficulty of the issues are special factors justifying an increase in the $125 per hour limitation.
(C) Limited availability. Limited availability of a specially qualified representative is established by demonstrating that a specially qualified representative for the proceeding is not available at the $125 per hour rate (as adjusted for an increase in the cost of living). The representative's special qualification must be based on nontax expertise. Initially, this showing may be made by submission of an affidavit signed by the taxpayer or by the taxpayer's counsel, that in a case similar to the taxpayer's, a specially qualified representative that practices within a reasonable distance from the taxpayer's principal residence or principal office would normally charge a client similar to the taxpayer at a rate in excess of this amount. If the Internal Revenue Service challenges this initial showing, the taxpayer may submit additional evidence to establish the limited availability of a specially qualified representative at the rate specified above.
(D) Limited local availability of tax expertise. Limited local availability of tax expertise is established by demonstrating that a representative possessing tax expertise is not available in the taxpayer's geographical area. Initially, this showing may be made by submission of an affidavit signed by the taxpayer, or by the taxpayer's counsel, that no representative possessing tax expertise practices within a reasonable distance from the taxpayer's principal residence or principal office. The hourly rate charged by representatives in the geographical area is not relevant in determining whether tax expertise is locally available. If the Internal Revenue Service challenges this initial showing, the taxpayer may submit additional evidence to establish the limited local availability of a representative possessing tax expertise.
(E) Difficulty of the issues. In determining whether the difficulty of the issues justifies an increase in the $125 per hour limitation on the applicable hourly rate, the Internal Revenue Service will consider the following factors:
(1) The number of different provisions of law involved in each issue.
(2) The complexity of the particular provision or provisions of law involved in each issue.
(3) The number of factual issues present in the proceeding.
(4) The complexity of the factual issues present in the proceeding.
(F) Example. The provisions of this section are illustrated by the following example:
(c) Certain costs excluded -
(1) Costs not incurred in an administrative proceeding. Costs that are not reasonable administrative costs for purposes of section 7430 include any costs incurred in connection with a proceeding that is not an administrative proceeding within the meaning of § 301.7430-3.
(2) Costs incurred in an administrative proceeding but not reasonable -
(i) In general. Costs incurred in an administrative proceeding that are incurred on or after the administrative proceeding date, and that are otherwise described in paragraph (b) of this section, are not recoverable unless they are reasonable in both nature and amount. For example, costs normally included in the hourly rate of the representative by the custom and usage of the representative's profession, when billed separately, are not recoverable separate and apart from the representative's hourly rate. These costs typically include costs such as secretarial and overhead expenses. In contrast, costs that are normally billed separately may be reasonable administrative costs that may be recoverable in addition to the representative's hourly rate. Therefore, necessary costs incurred for travel; expedited mail delivery; messenger service; expenses while on travel; long distance telephone calls; and necessary copying fees imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, any court, bank or other third party, when normally billed separately from the representative's hourly rate, may be reasonable administrative costs.
(ii) Special Rule for Expert Witness' Fees on Issue of Prevailing Market Rates. Under paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(C) of this section, the taxpayer may initially establish a limited availability of specially qualified representatives for the proceeding by submission of an affidavit signed by the taxpayer or by the taxpayer's representative. The Internal Revenue Service may endeavor to rebut the affidavit submitted on this issue by demonstrating either that a specially qualified representative was not necessary to represent the taxpayer in the proceeding, that the taxpayer's representative is not a specially qualified representative or that the prevailing rate for specially qualified representatives does not exceed $125 per hour (as adjusted for an increase in the cost of living). Unless the Internal Revenue Service endeavors to demonstrate that the prevailing rate for specially qualified representatives does not exceed $125 per hour (as adjusted for an increase in the cost of living), fees for expert witnesses used to establish prevailing market rates are not included in the term reasonable administrative costs.
(3) Litigation costs. Litigation costs are not reasonable administrative costs because they are not incurred in connection with an administrative proceeding. Litigation costs include -
(i) Costs incurred in connection with the preparation and filing of a petition with the United States Tax Court or in connection with the commencement of any other court proceeding; and
(ii) Costs incurred after the filing of a petition with the United States Tax Court or after the commencement of any other court proceeding.
(4) Examples. The provisions of this section are illustrated by the following examples:
(d) Pro bono representation -
(1) In general. Fees recoverable under section 7430 and the regulations thereunder as reasonable administrative costs may exceed the attorneys' fees paid or incurred by the prevailing party if such fees are less than the reasonable attorneys' fees because an individual is representing the prevailing party on a pro bono basis. In addition to attorneys' fees, reasonable costs incurred or paid by the individual providing the pro bono representation that are normally billed separately also may be recovered under this section. The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service may, in revenue rulings, notices, or other guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, provide for additional rules that apply for awards of costs for pro bono representation for purposes of this paragraph (d).
(2) Requirements. Pro bono representation is established by demonstrating -
(i) Representation was provided for no fee or for a fee that (taking into account all the facts and circumstances) constitutes a nominal fee;
(ii) The representative intended to provide representation for no fee or for a nominal fee from the commencement of the representation. Intent to provide representation for no fee or for a nominal fee may be demonstrated through documentation such as a retainer agreement. An individual will not be considered to have represented a client on a pro bono basis if the facts demonstrate that the individual anticipated a fee greater than a nominal fee or provided representation on a contingency fee basis. The fact that the representative intended to seek recovery of fees under section 7430 will not prevent the representative from satisfying this requirement.
(3) Nominal fee. A nominal fee is defined as a fee that is insignificantly small or minimal. A nominal fee is a trivial payment, bearing no relation to the value of the representation provided, taking into account all the facts and circumstances.
(4) Payment when representation provided at no charge or for a nominal fee. A prevailing party who receives representation at no charge or for a nominal fee and who satisfies the requirements under this section is eligible to receive reasonable fees in excess of the fees actually paid or incurred. Payment will be made to the representative or the representative's employer.
(5) Recordkeeping. Contemporaneous records must be maintained, demonstrating the work performed and the time allocated to each task. These records should contain similar information to billing records.
(6) Examples. The provisions of this section are illustrated by the following example:
(1) In general. The costs described in this paragraph are the reasonable and necessary amount of costs incurred by the taxpayer to present the taxpayer's position with respect to the merits of the tax controversy or the recovery of reasonable administrative costs. These costs include -
(i) Any administrative fees or similar charges imposed by the Internal Revenue Service;
(ii) Reasonable expenses of expert witnesses;
(iii) Reasonable costs of any study, analysis, engineering report, test or project that is necessary for, and incurred in preparation of, the taxpayer's case; and
(iv) Reasonable fees paid or incurred for the services of a representative (as defined in paragraph (b)(2) of this section) in connection with the administrative proceeding.
(2) Representative and specially qualified representative -
(i) Representative. A representative is a person compensated for services rendered in connection with the administrative proceeding, who is authorized to practice before the Internal Revenue Service or the Tax Court.
(ii) Specially qualified representative. For purposes of paragraphs (b)(3)(iii) and (c)(2)(ii) of this section, a specially qualified representative is a representative (as defined in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section) possessing a distinctive knowledge or a unique and specialized skill that is necessary to adequately represent the taxpayer in the proceeding. Examples of a unique and specialized skill or distinctive knowledge would be an identifiable practice specialty such as patent law or knowledge of a foreign law or language where that specialty or knowledge is necessary to adequately represent the taxpayer in the proceeding. For purposes of this paragraph, neither knowledge of tax law nor experience in representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service is considered distinctive knowledge or a unique and specialized skill. An extraordinary level of general representational knowledge and ability that is useful in all proceedings is not considered, in and of itself, distinctive knowledge or a unique and specialized skill. Specially qualified representatives also do not include those who have a distinctive knowledge of the underlying subject matter of the controversy in circumstances where that distinctive knowledge could reasonably be supplied through the use of an expert, or could readily be obtained through literature pertaining to the subject.
(3) Limitation on fees for a representative -
(i) In general. Except as otherwise provided in this section, fees incurred after January 18, 1999, and described in paragraph (b)(1)(iv) of this section that are recoverable under section 7430 and the regulations thereunder as reasonable administrative costs may not exceed $125 per hour (as adjusted for an increase in the cost of living and, if appropriate, a special factor adjustment).
(ii) Cost of living adjustment. The Internal Revenue Service will make a cost of living adjustment to the $125 per hour limitation for fees incurred in any calendar year beginning after December 31, 1996. The cost of living adjustment will be an amount equal to $125 multiplied by the cost of living adjustment determined under section 1(f)(3) for the calendar year (substituting “calendar year 1995” for “calendar year 1992” in section 1(f)(3)(B)). If the dollar limitation as adjusted by this cost of living increase is not a multiple of $10, the dollar amount will be rounded to the nearest multiple of $10 (rounding up if the amount is a multiple of $5).
(B) Percentage adjustment. For purposes of paragraph (b)(3)(ii)(A) of this section, the base year for determining the cost of living adjustment is the calendar year 1986. The cost of living adjustment for fees incurred in any calendar year subsequent to 1986 is the percentage (if any) by which the yearly average CPI--U for the calendar year immediately prior to the year in which the fees are incurred exceeds the January CPI--U for the calendar year 1986.
(iii) Special factor adjustment -
(A) In general. If the presence of a special factor is demonstrated by the taxpayer, the amount reimbursable is the amount of reasonable fees paid or incurred by the taxpayer in connection with the proceeding for the services of a representative as defined in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section.
(B) Special factor. A special factor is a factor, other than an increase in the cost of living, that justifies an increase in the $125 per hour limitation of section 7430(c)(1)(B)(iii). The undesirability of the case, the work and the ability of counsel, the results obtained, and customary fees and awards in other cases, are factors applicable to a broad spectrum of litigation and do not constitute special factors for the purpose of increasing the $125 per hour limitation. By contrast, the limited availability of a specially qualified representative for the proceeding, the limited local availability of tax expertise, and the difficulty of the issues are special factors justifying an increase in the $125 per hour limitation.
(C) Limited availability. Limited availability of a specially qualified representative is established by demonstrating that a specially qualified representative for the proceeding is not available at the $125 per hour rate (as adjusted for an increase in the cost of living). The representative's special qualification must be based on nontax expertise. Initially, this showing may be made by submission of an affidavit signed by the taxpayer or by the taxpayer's counsel, that in a case similar to the taxpayer's, a specially qualified representative that practices within a reasonable distance from the taxpayer's principal residence or principal office would normally charge a client similar to the taxpayer at a rate in excess of this amount. If the Internal Revenue Service challenges this initial showing, the taxpayer may submit additional evidence to establish the limited availability of a specially qualified representative at the rate specified above.
(D) Limited local availability of tax expertise. Limited local availability of tax expertise is established by demonstrating that a representative possessing tax expertise is not available in the taxpayer's geographical area. Initially, this showing may be made by submission of an affidavit signed by the taxpayer, or by the taxpayer's counsel, that no representative possessing tax expertise practices within a reasonable distance from the taxpayer's principal residence or principal office. The hourly rate charged by representatives in the geographical area is not relevant in determining whether tax expertise is locally available. If the Internal Revenue Service challenges this initial showing, the taxpayer may submit additional evidence to establish the limited local availability of a representative possessing tax expertise.
(E) Difficulty of the issues. In determining whether the difficulty of the issues justifies an increase in the $125 per hour limitation on the applicable hourly rate, the Internal Revenue Service will consider the following factors:
(1) The number of different provisions of law involved in each issue.
(2) The complexity of the particular provision or provisions of law involved in each issue.
(3) The number of factual issues present in the proceeding.
(4) The complexity of the factual issues present in the proceeding.
(F) Example. The provisions of this section are illustrated by the following example:
(c) Certain costs excluded -
(1) Costs not incurred in an administrative proceeding. Costs that are not reasonable administrative costs for purposes of section 7430 include any costs incurred in connection with a proceeding that is not an administrative proceeding within the meaning of § 301.7430-3.
(2) Costs incurred in an administrative proceeding but not reasonable -
(i) In general. Costs incurred in an administrative proceeding that are incurred on or after the administrative proceeding date, and that are otherwise described in paragraph (b) of this section, are not recoverable unless they are reasonable in both nature and amount. For example, costs normally included in the hourly rate of the representative by the custom and usage of the representative's profession, when billed separately, are not recoverable separate and apart from the representative's hourly rate. These costs typically include costs such as secretarial and overhead expenses. In contrast, costs that are normally billed separately may be reasonable administrative costs that may be recoverable in addition to the representative's hourly rate. Therefore, necessary costs incurred for travel; expedited mail delivery; messenger service; expenses while on travel; long distance telephone calls; and necessary copying fees imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, any court, bank or other third party, when normally billed separately from the representative's hourly rate, may be reasonable administrative costs.
(ii) Special Rule for Expert Witness' Fees on Issue of Prevailing Market Rates. Under paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(C) of this section, the taxpayer may initially establish a limited availability of specially qualified representatives for the proceeding by submission of an affidavit signed by the taxpayer or by the taxpayer's representative. The Internal Revenue Service may endeavor to rebut the affidavit submitted on this issue by demonstrating either that a specially qualified representative was not necessary to represent the taxpayer in the proceeding, that the taxpayer's representative is not a specially qualified representative or that the prevailing rate for specially qualified representatives does not exceed $125 per hour (as adjusted for an increase in the cost of living). Unless the Internal Revenue Service endeavors to demonstrate that the prevailing rate for specially qualified representatives does not exceed $125 per hour (as adjusted for an increase in the cost of living), fees for expert witnesses used to establish prevailing market rates are not included in the term reasonable administrative costs.
(3) Litigation costs. Litigation costs are not reasonable administrative costs because they are not incurred in connection with an administrative proceeding. Litigation costs include -
(i) Costs incurred in connection with the preparation and filing of a petition with the United States Tax Court or in connection with the commencement of any other court proceeding; and
(ii) Costs incurred after the filing of a petition with the United States Tax Court or after the commencement of any other court proceeding.
(4) Examples. The provisions of this section are illustrated by the following examples:
(d) Pro bono representation -
(1) In general. Fees recoverable under section 7430 and the regulations thereunder as reasonable administrative costs may exceed the attorneys' fees paid or incurred by the prevailing party if such fees are less than the reasonable attorneys' fees because an individual is representing the prevailing party on a pro bono basis. In addition to attorneys' fees, reasonable costs incurred or paid by the individual providing the pro bono representation that are normally billed separately also may be recovered under this section. The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service may, in revenue rulings, notices, or other guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, provide for additional rules that apply for awards of costs for pro bono representation for purposes of this paragraph (d).
(2) Requirements. Pro bono representation is established by demonstrating -
(i) Representation was provided for no fee or for a fee that (taking into account all the facts and circumstances) constitutes a nominal fee;
(ii) The representative intended to provide representation for no fee or for a nominal fee from the commencement of the representation. Intent to provide representation for no fee or for a nominal fee may be demonstrated through documentation such as a retainer agreement. An individual will not be considered to have represented a client on a pro bono basis if the facts demonstrate that the individual anticipated a fee greater than a nominal fee or provided representation on a contingency fee basis. The fact that the representative intended to seek recovery of fees under section 7430 will not prevent the representative from satisfying this requirement.
(3) Nominal fee. A nominal fee is defined as a fee that is insignificantly small or minimal. A nominal fee is a trivial payment, bearing no relation to the value of the representation provided, taking into account all the facts and circumstances.
(4) Payment when representation provided at no charge or for a nominal fee. A prevailing party who receives representation at no charge or for a nominal fee and who satisfies the requirements under this section is eligible to receive reasonable fees in excess of the fees actually paid or incurred. Payment will be made to the representative or the representative's employer.
(5) Recordkeeping. Contemporaneous records must be maintained, demonstrating the work performed and the time allocated to each task. These records should contain similar information to billing records.
(6) Examples. The provisions of this section are illustrated by the following example:

Source

26 CFR § 301.7430-4


Scoping language

None
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