Dissertation Information for Harold Edwin Thiele Jr.
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: Personal recordkeeping and literary warrants: A content study of the United States income tax codes and regulations
Abstract: Building on previous work done in the area of recordkeeping literary warrants by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) funded study at the University of Pittsburgh on the Functional Requirements for Evidence in Recordkeeping (the Pittsburgh Project), this study answered four research questions that tested the hypothesis that literary warrants exist for personal recordkeeping activities. It was reasoned that evidence for literary warrants mandating personal recordkeeping activities would be found in the Federal income tax code. Using a qualitative research methodology, selected texts from 99 sections of Title 26 U.S. Code, 69 sections of Title 26 Code of Federal Regulations, and 92 sets of U.S. Individual Income Tax forms were examined. These 260 texts provided over 3817 references to 53 recordkeeping activities divided amongst eight broad recordkeeping categories that the individual taxpayer is expected to perform or meet in the process of fulfilling the requirements of the Federal income tax codes. It was demonstrated that literary warrants for personal recordkeeping do exist within the Federal income tax laws, rules and regulations, and individual income tax forms and instructions. The literary warrants for personal recordkeeping identified in this study were similar to the literary warrants for organizational recordkeeping identified by the Pittsburgh Project. Analysis of the literary warrants generated 78 functional requirements for personal recordkeeping. Additional analysis demonstrated that the Functional Requirements for Personal Recordkeeping for the United States Individual Income Tax were comparable to the set of organizational functional recordkeeping requirements represented by the Functional Requirements for Evidence in Recordkeeping developed by the Pittsburgh Project. The study concluded that literary warrants and functional requirements do exist for personal recordkeeping within the Federal income tax codes and that such warrants and requirements are similar to organizational requirements. The study identified several features requiring additional study, including parallel recordkeeping and reporting activities, the influence of incorporation of other sections of the U.S. Code into the income tax regulations, the impact of consequences for failure to comply with the recordkeeping requirements, and how filing of specific records control or "effect" future recordkeeping activities.
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