This year, Ark Corporation acquired substantially all the voting stock of BioTech Consultants, Inc. for cash. Subsequent to the acquisition, Ark’s chief financial officer, Jonathan Cohen, approached Edith Murphy, Ark’s tax advisor, with a question: Could Ark amortize the “general educational skills” of BioTech’s employees? Edith researched the issue but found no primary authorities on point. She did, however, find a tax journal article, co-authored by two prominent academics that endorsed amortizing “general educational skills” for tax purposes. The article referred to numerous primary authorities that support the amortization of “technical skills,” but not “general educational skills.” Edith consulted these authorities directly. Based on her research, Edith in good faith advised Jonathan that Ark could amortize the “general educational skills” over a 15-year period. In so doing, has Edith met the “realistic possibility standard” of?
a. The IRC?
b. The AICPAs Statements on Standards for Tax Services?