Question

Tony Taxpayer’s return has come up for audit by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). He took some deductions this year for an office in his home. Amelio Auditor at the IRS has disallowed that deduction and invited Tony to come to the office to discuss that item as well as a few other items on the return. Tony’s profession is tax consulting, and he listed his occupation on his return as attorney.

Tony has taken several deductions this year that might be considered aggressive; however, Tony believes that he has done no wrong. In fact, he thinks he is being singled out due to his profession. He is short on money and is worried about paying any additional assessment the IRS may make. Therefore, he is planning on giving up the office deduction in order to close the audit as quickly as possible.

Amelio has never seen a home office deduction that was proper except for his own during his pre-IRS days as an independent consultant.

Case Discussion Questions:

1. Apply general attribution theory to analyze and explain each party’s attitudes and conclusions.

2. Explain how perception affected each party’s negotiation goals.

3. Apply the theory of symbolic interactionism to each party in the case by identifying where you see each party’s “me, myself, and I.”

Solution Preview

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Answer 1:

In this case, Amelio had called Tony for discussing about the office discussion since he had never seen this type of deduction in the past as proper, except of his own. Therefore, he questioned this deduction immediately and asked Tony to see him. Tony on the other hand, was aware that he had applied for several deductions and he had also listed his profession as attorney, even though he was into tax consulting. Therefore, he wanted...

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