When the final state ratified the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1913, levying taxes directly on individual incomes became a reality and opened up expanded taxation on businesses. For example, the supporting legislation allowed for the deduction of wear and tear on equipment as a business expense based on the service lives. Unfortunately for the tax preparer, there was no clear meaning of wear and tear and the interpretation of the of service lives in the legislation. With little or no guidance to CPA tax preparers and their clients, it was inevitable that Bureau of Internal Revenue examiners would question returns with such deductions. To help its members to understand better, the new law and the ever-increasing complexity of accounting issues related to it, the American Institute of Accountants began to publish the Special Bulletin Series in January 1920. Many of the answers present in the Bulletins between 1920 and 1929 solved accounting and tax problems in ways still used nearly a century later.
Lang, Teresa Kay and Heier, Jan Richard
"AIA's Special Bulletin Series and its early guidance on tax issues related to depreciation, 1920-1929,"
Accounting Historians Journal: Vol. 40
, Article 4.
Available at: https://egrove.olemiss.edu/aah_journal/vol40/iss1/4