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Tax Law

A guide to federal tax law research.

Tax Dictionary

Journal Articles

To locate articles about tax law in legal journals, check the Legal Source Index to Legal Periodicals Retrospective: 1908-1981, and LegalTrac, which covers 1980 to the present.

The library also has two specialized tax periodical indexes:

  • Federal Tax Articles: Income, Estate, Gift, Excise, and Employment Taxes  (Covers 1954 to 2002)  Contains summaries of federal tax articles, comments, and notes published in legal, accounting, tax, and other periodicals.  Indexed by topic and author and arranged by code section.
  • Index to Federal Tax Articles  (Covers 1974 to 2004)  Covers federal income tax, estate tax, and gift tax articles and articles on federal tax policy published in legal, accounting, and economics journals.  Consists of a subject index and author index, each arranged alphabetically.


Tax research focuses primarily on the Internal Revenue Code and the various primary and secondary materials that interpret it.  A tax problem often involves legislative, judicial, and administrative interpretations.  Administrative sources play an especially important role in tax research, so understanding the numerous regulations and IRS pronouncements that exist, as well as each one's binding or persuasive authority, is essential.

There are a number of specialized tools to help make tax research more efficient.  Looseleaf services are often a good place to start since they are up-to-date and bring together all relevant primary materials along with commentary and analysis.  Tax treatises are also helpful for gaining subject matter familiarity.  Wherever you start, tax research requires a thorough, logical, and comprehensive approach.

Treatises and Other General Works

Most of the library's federal tax treatises are on the 5th floor in the KF6200-6500 call number range.  They include the following standard works:

Research Guides