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Federal Tax Research

Federal income tax law is based on statutes and administrative regulations. This means that the answer to a tax question will likely include section(s) of the Internal Revenue Code and the Code of Federal Regulations. In addition to code section(s), your answer may involve finding cases, administrative decisions, and administrative pronouncements.

The library has just posted a new guide, Federal Tax Research: Quick Guide. This guide is for those who have a basic idea of tax law and its sources.  For those without this knowledge I suggest using the following:

  • Gail Levin Richmond, Federal Tax Research: Guide to Materials and Techniques (8th ed., 2010) KF 241 .T38 R5 2010 (Located at the Reference Desk)
  • The Internal Revenue Manual also has a section entitled “Researching Tax Law”
  • The Library’s Major Treatises by Topic: Taxation

The new research guide covers sources of primary law, IRC, tax regulations, administration guidances and decisions.  It also covers tax specific sources, bluebooks, tax citators, tax legislative histories, tax forms etc.:

  • Bluebooks – Bluebooks going back to 1969 can be found on the Joint Committee Bluebooks site.
  • Tax Citators
  • Tax Legislative Histories – Tax Legislative Histories in Hein Online’s Taxation & Economic Reform in America Parts I & II library.
  • Tax Forms – Internal Revenue Service’s Forms and Publications page.

To find a current tax topic for a note, look at these blogs and current awareness publications:


Current awarness publications:

And, after the note is done, a student may wish to submit it to one of the following law student writing competitions:

  • Donald C. Alexander Tax Law Writing Competition page
  • Mary Moers Wenig Student Writing Competition page
  • Paul Faherty Tax Law Writing Competition page
  • Tannewald Competition page
  • For more information see the Student Writing Competitions on the Student Home page here (you will need to log-in).

The Federal Tax Research: Quick Guide is now available on the law library’s Research Guides page.