- Wolf Law Library
- Research Guides
- Topical Research Guides
Tax Law Research
Journal articles, looseleaf services & newsletters.
- W&M Online Databases
- Inheritance and transfer tax
- Gifts and Taxation
- Corporations and Taxation
- Trade Secrets
Individual jurisdictions can be searched, e.g. Taxation and Law and Virginia
Library of Congress Call Numbers for Taxation: KF 6271-6645 (federal taxation); KF 6720-6795 (state and local taxation). Browse the shelves under these call numbers to locate relevant treatises.
To search for materials from other libraries, use Worldcat .
- Bittker, Boris I., Martin J. McMahon, Jr., and Lawrence Zelenak, Federal Income Taxation of Individuals (WG&L) Westlaw
- Bittker, Boris I., James S. Eustice, and Gersham Goldstein, Federal Income Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders (WG&L) Westlaw
- Bittker, Boris I., Lawrence Lokken, Federal Taxation of Income, Estates and Gifts (WG&L) Westlaw
- Chirelstein, Marvin A., Federal income taxation: a law student's guide to the leading cases and concepts, 13th ed. KF6369 .C43 2015
- Hazelton, Penny A., Specialized Legal Research Chapter 3 covers Federal Income Taxation. Ref. KF240 .S64 2014
- Hellerstein, Jerome R. and Walter Hellerstein, Hellerstein & Hellertein: State Taxation Westlaw
- Kahn, Douglas A. and Jeffrey S. Lehman. Corporate Income Taxation, 6th ed. KF6464 .K28 2009
- Lederman, Leandra, Federal Tax Practice & Procedure Lexis
- Mertens, Jacob, Merten's Law of Federal Income Taxation Westlaw
- Tobin, Daniel B., and Samuel A. Donaldson. Principles of Federal Income Taxation of Individuals. Reserve KF 6369 .P67 2017
Legal Source Contains detailed indexing for over 1,200 legal journals, law reviews, yearbooks, institutes, statutes, bar association and university publications, and some journals from Canada, Great Britain, and Australia/NZ. Includes full text for over 1100 journals. Coverage: 1908 - present.
Legal Trac Pr ovides indexing for more than 1,200 major law reviews, legal newspapers, specialty publications, Bar Association journals, and international legal journals, including more than 200 titles in full text. Coverage: 1980 - present.
For More Information For more information about finding law review articles, including older ones, see Locating Legal and Non-Legal Journal Articles .
Full Text Articles (from journals, newsletters, and legal newspapers)
- Hein Online: Law Journal Library
- Lexis Law Reviews and Journals
- Lexis All Tax Law Reviews and Journals
- Westlaw Law Reviews and Journals
- Westlaw Tax Secondary Sources
- Westlaw (1985-present)
- Westlaw (selected coverage starts 1987, full coverage 1993-present)
- Lexis (1981-present)
- Lexis (1982-present)
- Online (1988-present; last 2 years available to Nat'l Tax Association members only)
- Westlaw (2000-present)
- Westlaw (1988-present)
- Contains complete coverage and analysis of income, FICA, FUTA, estate, gift and excise taxes, as well as the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations.
- Contains text and analysis of the Internal Revenue Code, treasury regulations, and legislative committee reports, as well as annotations of cases and rulings. Includes excise taxes.
- Contains text and analysis of the Internal Revenue Code, treasury regulations, and legislative committee reports, as well as annotations of cases and rulings concerning estate planning and taxation.
- Contains in-depth articles analyzing legislative proposals under consideration by the congressional tax writing committees, court decisions, regulatory pronouncements, and new trends in the administration of tax law. Every issue provides summaries of all full text documents pertaining to federal tax law.
- Lexis (1992-present)
- Analyzes legislative, regulatory, and judicial tax developments
- Bloomberg Law Tax Management Weekly Report
- Materials include case law, proposed and enacted legislation, and regulations. Selected secondary sources include journal articles (e.g., Virginia Tax Review 1981 - ) and newsletters.
- Case Law, Regulations and IRS Material Combined
- The taxation practice area materials include current and proposed federal legislation, regulations, and court decisions. Selected secondary sources include journal articles (e.g., Tax Law Review 1988- ). It also contains international materials, such as treaties and other agreements dealing with environmental law.
- Title 26 U.S. Code Annotated
- Federal Tax Proposed and Adopted Regulations
- Federal Tax Cases
Internal Revenue Service Contains links to tax statistics, taxpayer help, tax regulations, and forms & publications Joint Committee on Taxation Contains Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) publications, press releases, and other tax-related information House of Representatives: Committee on Ways and Means Contains links to hearings, prints and publications, rules and jurisdiction, and legislative resources Senate Finance Committee Contains links to press office legislation, hearings, Roth-IRA information. U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division The Tax Division's primary function is to serve as a general purpose law firm for its principal client, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). On behalf of the IRS, the Division handles virtually all civil litigation arising under the internal revenue laws except for those cases which are docketed in the U.S. Tax Court, and enforces the criminal tax laws by supervising or directly handling all criminal tax prosecutions.
ABA Section on Taxation The Section offers vital information about tax law and keeps members apprised of new substantive, administrative and procedural developments. Members have the opportunity to meet and share practical ideas with other tax lawyers and actively address current tax issues. National Association of Tax Practitioners The National Association of Tax Practitioners (NATP), founded in 1979, is a nonprofit professional association dedicated to excellence in taxation. NATP was formed to serve professionals who work in all areas of tax practice. Members include CPAs, individual practitioners, enrolled agents, accountants, attorneys, and financial planners National Tax Association Founded in 1907, the National Tax Association is a nonpartisan, nonpolitical educational association that fosters study and discussion of complex and controversial issues in tax theory, practice and policy, and other aspects of public finance.
Specialized tax research platforms & resources, learning tax research, federal tax statutes, federal legislative history, federal tax regulations, other irs guidance, u.s. tax court, u.s. department of justice -- tax division, treatises, books, and reporters, databases for finding tax-related scholarship (and other types of articles), specific tax journals, tax policy think tanks, online resources, other research guides, contact us, getting started.
This guide is designed to help you find laws and information on tax law issues. Although it focuses on U.S. federal tax law, it does include some information on state and local tax matters as well as some non -U.S. tax information.
The purpose of this guide is to introduce you to a number of useful tax law resources and get you started in the right direction. Legal research requires analysis and synthesis of information, and no one resource will likely provide complete information or data on any given topic.
For many of these databases, you will need to use your Harvard Key to authenticate yourself as a Harvard or HLS-affiliate. For others, you may need to register and create an account to gain access ( e.g. , Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law). If you have any trouble accessing a database, please contact the library.
In addition, you should consider looking at the following tax-centric research platforms/resources:
- Checkpoint (Thomson Reuters) Tax topics include federal, state, international, pension & benefits, estate planning, payroll, and more. Includes the US Tax Reporter (also available on Westlaw). NOTE: HLS-Affiliates (students, faculty & staff) can use the 1st link in the HOLLIS record for general access to Checkpoint (after providing their HLSMe credentials). If STUDENTS would like to create a personal account (to save searches, create alerts, etc.), they can do so by clicking on the 2nd link in the HOLLIS record. If FACULTY or STAFF would like to create a personal account, they should contact Lisa Lilliott Rydin at [email protected].
- Cheetah (Wolters Kluwer) Cheetah for Tax Law combines authoritative content, expert analysis, practice tools, and current awareness for legal tax professionals to gain insights on today’s most challenging tax matters. (Formerly known as Intelliconnect.) Includes the Standard Federal Tax Reporter Available online using the "View Online" link in the HOLLIS record above.
- TaxNotes - Federal Available online using the "View Online" link in the HOLLIS record above. NOTE: You must first create an account using an HLS-networked computer. This can be done on-campus or remotely by using a VPN connection.
- Tax Notes - State Available online using the "View Online" link in the HOLLIS record above. NOTE: You must first create an account using an HLS-networked computer. This can be done on-campus or remotely by using a VPN connection.
- Tax Notes - International Available online using the "View Online" link in the HOLLIS record above. NOTE: You must first create an account using an HLS-networked computer. This can be done on-campus or remotely by using a VPN connection.
- IBFD - Tax Research Platform Global tax database, including country-specific tax guides, primary sources of law, tax treaties, global tax topics, books, journal articles and papers. Available online using the "View Online" link in the HOLLIS record above.
- Getting the Deal Through (Lexology) Not exactly a "research platform" but the Getting the Deal Through (GTDT) module of Lexology lets you quickly compare laws across different countries and includes such Topics as "State and Local Taxes," "Tax Controversy" and "Tax on Inbound Investment."
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) -- Tax Tax information, data, and other information regarding OECD member countries.
- European Commission -- Taxation and Customs Union Information on EU tax policies.
Below are some books that can help you better understand how Tax Law resources are organized and where you can find them.
- Federal Tax Research, by William A. Raabe KF241.T38 W47 2006x (Reference)
- Federal Tax Research: Guide to Materials and Techniques, by Gail Levin Richmond & Kevin M. Yamamoto KF241 .T38 R53 2018 (Reference)
- Federal Tax Research, by Joni Larson & Dan Sheaffer KF241 .T38 L37 2011 (Reference)
Primary Sources/Federal Government Resources
- U.S. Code (official U.S. federal government site) See "Title 26" for the Internal Revenue Code (a/k/a "The Code").
- U.S. Code (Legal Information Institute, at Cornell University) An alternative site for the U.S. Code (again, Title 26).
In addition to standard legislative history resources (e.g., ProQuest Congressional's Legislative Insight for federal legislative history), you should check out:
- Taxation & Economic Reform in America, Parts I & II (HeinOnline) This historical archive contains thousands of volumes and millions of pages of legislative history materials and other documents. It includes the complete Carlton Fox Collection which contains nearly 42 years of historical legislation related to the internal revenue laws from 1909-1950, as well as other legislative histories related to taxation, economic reform, and stimulus plans.
- The Joint Committee on Taxation's "Blue Book" Not exactly "legislative history".... At the end of each Congress, the Joint Committee Staff, in consultation with the staffs of the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance, prepare explanations of the enacted tax legislation. The explanation follows the chronological order of the tax legislation as signed into law. For each provision, the document includes a description of present law, explanation of the provision, and effective date. Present law describes the law in effect immediately prior to enactment. It does not reflect changes to the law made by the provision or subsequent to the enactment of the provision. For many provisions, the reasons for change are also included.
- Old Editions of the Standard Federal Tax Reporter (HeinOnline) PDFs of the superseded, loose-leaf volumes (1917-1985).
- Code of Federal Regulations (official U.S. federal government site) Final IRS regulations can be found in Title 26 of the CFR. This compilation of regulations is updated annually, on a staggered basis.
- e-CFR An alternative site for final federal regulations (this compilation, while not "official" is more user-friendly and updated faster). Tax regulations still under "Title 26."
The Federal Register is where all federal agency rules and regulations are initially published (when first proposed -- perhaps re-proposed -- and later finalized). Agencies are required to include summaries of proposed regulations and the public comments received thereon, as well as an agency's reaction to the public comments when finalizing a regulation. This is typically done in the preamble to a finalized or re-proposed regulation.
- Federal Register The official government source for the Federal Register.
- FederalRegister.gov The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) jointly administer the FederalRegister.gov website. This website was developed to make it easier for citizens and communities to understand the regulatory process and to participate in Government decision-making.
- Internal Revenue Bulletins The Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB) is the official publication for announcing Revenue Rulings, Revenue Procedures, Notices & Announcement. These are directed to all taxpayers and may be relied upon. The IRB is published weekly and through 2008 was consolidated into semi-annual Cumulative Bulletins (CB).
NOTE: IRS guidance/rulings requested by individual taxpayers ( e.g. , Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memoranda, and Chief Counsel Advice) may not be relied upon by others and are not published in the IRB.
Nevertheless, they may provide insight regarding the IRS's views on various matters. They may be obtained by the public via FOIA requests and can often be found on the IRS.gov (see the IRS's FOIA Library ) or by using commercial legal research platforms.
The IRS website is not the easiest site to navigate but it does contain a lot of useful information. For example:
- Understanding IRS Guidance -- A Brief Primer Explains the difference between Regulations, Revenue Rulings, Revenue Procedures, Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memoranda, Notices, and Announcements.
- Forms, Instructions, and Publications IRS Publications (on a variety of tax topics) and the Instructions to IRS Forms can often help you understand the IRS's view of tax laws. Keep in mind that these are NOT primary sources of law; however, they can be helpful.
- Tax Code, Regulations, and Official Guidance NOTE: It appears this information is no longer being updated by the IRS; however, you may be able to find useful historical information.
- Basic Tools for Tax Professionals A collection of IRS links likely to be of use to a tax professional, including a link to the Internal Revenue Manual.
- Internal Revenue Manual How the IRS is organized and how it operates. For example, procedures for examining returns, conducting audits, "Offers in Compromise," technical guidelines, etc.
- Tax Statistics Here you will find a wide range of tables, articles, and data that describe and measure elements of the U.S. tax system.
- Tax Topics Source for general individual and business tax information.
- FAQs Frequently Asked Questions (and their answers).
- U.S. Tax Court Website The official website of the U.S. Tax Court, containing information about the court and its cases.
- US Dept. of Justice -- Tax Division Website The Tax Division's mission is to enforce the nation's tax laws fully, fairly, and consistently, through both criminal and civil litigation, in order to promote voluntary compliance with the tax laws, maintain public confidence in the integrity of the tax system, and promote the sound development of the law.
Look under "Secondary Sources" (or "Secondary Materials") in the Tax Practice Center/Area of a legal research platform to find treatises and other materials about tax-related topics. Below are some specific titles:
- Mertens Law of Federal Income Taxation Available online via Westlaw using the link above.
- Bittker, McMahon & Zelenak: Federal Income Taxation of Individuals KF6369 .B5722 Also available online via Westlaw using the link in the HOLLIS record above.
- Bittker & Eustice's Federal Income Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders KF6464 .B53x (Available in the Reading Room Stacks and on Reserve at the Circulation Desk) Also available online via Westlaw and Checkpoint using the "View Online" link in the HOLLIS record above.
- Hill and Mancino: Taxation of Exempt Organizations Available online via Checkpoint.
- Saltzman & Book: IRS Practice & Procedure KF6300 .S262x Also available online via Westlaw and Checkpoint.
- Tax Fraud and Evasion: Offenses, Trials, Civil Penalties (Vol. 1) Available online via Checkpoint.
- Tax Fraud and Evasion: Money Laundering, Asset Forfeiture, and Related Topics (Vol. 2) Available online via Checkpoint.
- Standard Federal Tax Reporter (Cheetah) A Code section-arranged reporter covering Federal income tax law that allows you to navigate between its component parts. The full text of an IRC section, with brief legislative history notes, is followed by the relevant committee reports in full text, final, temporary and proposed regulations, editorially prepared explanations, and annotations. Caution lines and notes are used to alert you to special circumstances concerning a Code section, regulation or annotation. Also included are practice aids, tax rates and other tables, a tax calendar and separate tax planning sections for individuals and businesses, as well as full-text IRS documents (regulations, revenue rulings and procedures), case annotations and other source documents for the current year.
- U.S. Tax Reporter (Checkpoint) On Checkpoint's Home Page, look for "USTR Code Section" (under "My Quick Links"). Another Code section-arranged reporter that provides a comprehensive, up-to-date source of federal tax law, including the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, committee reports, cases, rulings, explanations, and annotations of cases and rulings. Also available online via Westlaw.
- Understanding Federal Income Taxation, by J. Martin Burke & Michael K. Friel KF6369.85 .B87 2019 (Available in the Reading Room Stacks and the Study Guide Collection @ the Circulation Desk)
- Chirelstein's Federal Income Taxation: A Law Student's Guide to the Leading Cases and Concepts KF6369 .C43 2018 (Reserve)
In addition to searching for tax-related law reviews and journals using Westlaw , Lexis Advance , or Bloomberg Law you can try these alternatives:
- HeinOnline's Law Journal Library Browse by Subject and select "Taxation" to see all the tax-related journals you can search.
- Business Source Complete A database of citations to summaries and full text articles from academic journals, magazines, and trade publications.
- ProQuest's Accounting, Tax & Banking Collection This database brings together highly ranked global and scholarly journals with other key resources for locating quick and precise results covering current news and topics, as well as the trends and history influencing important financial issues of the day.
- SSRN (Social Science Research Network) SSRN is a worldwide collaborative of over 352,400 authors and more than 2.2 million users that is devoted to the rapid worldwide dissemination of research. It provides access to new scholarship including working papers.
- NBER Working Papers The National Bureau of Economic Research is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Journal of Taxation HJ 2360 .J6 Available online via Westlaw and Checkpoint.
- Tax Law Review K24 .A917 Available online via Westlaw & Lexis Advance.
- The Tax Lawyer (ABA Publication) Available online via Westlaw & Lexis Advance.
- Corporate Taxation Available online via Checkpoint.
- Taxation of Exempts Available online via Checkpoint.
- Daily Tax Report Available online via Bloomberg Law using the "View Online" link in the HOLLIS record above.
- Tax Notes Available online using the "View Online" link in the HOLLIS record above. NOTE: You must first create an account using an HLS-networked computer. This can be done on-campus or remotely by using a VPN connection.
- Law360 - Tax Requires HLSMe Authenticiation.
- IRS's e-News for Tax Professionals Information on how to subscribe to get the IRS's latest news.
- Politico's Morning Tax Newsletter Subscribe to a daily newsletter.
- International Tax News PWC's International Tax News provides a succinct monthly analysis of select legislative changes, case law and treaty news from around the globe.
- American Tax Policy Institute (ATPI) ATPI supports nonpartisan scholarly research, analysis and discussion of U.S. federal, state and local, and international tax policy issues.
- Tax Foundation The Tax Foundation is the nation’s leading independent tax policy nonprofit. Since 1937, our principled research, insightful analysis, and engaged experts have informed smarter tax policy at the federal, state, and global levels. For over 80 years, our goal has remained the same: to improve lives through tax policies that lead to greater economic growth and opportunity.
- Tax Policy Center (TPC) The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center aims to provide independent analyses of current and longer-term tax issues and to communicate its analyses to the public and to policymakers in a timely and accessible manner. The Center combines top national experts in tax, expenditure, budget policy, and microsimulation modeling to concentrate on overarching areas of tax policy that are critical to future debate.
- TaxProf Blog
- Tax Appellate Blog (Miller & Chevalier) The Tax Appellate Blog is intended to be a resource for information on important tax cases under consideration in the appellate courts. It will feature insightful commentary on the issues and provide a dedicated site for following the progress of these cases.
- Procedurally Taxing Procedurally Taxing considers developments in issues relating to tax procedure and tax administration.
- Tax Controversy Watch (Blank Rome LLP) Blank Rome’s Tax Controversy Watch blog is focused on addressing and providing a comprehensive review of the latest developments in the tax controversy field.
- TaxVox (Tax Policy Center)
State Tax Resources
Individual state tax agencies can provide a lot of helpful state tax information. The Federation of Tax Administrators provides a list of links to the websites for state tax agencies.
You can also find a number of state-specific tax resources if you look for state law content on Lexis Advance or Westlaw.
See below for more useful links:
- All States Tax Guide (RIA) Available via Westlaw using the link above.
- Bender's State Taxation: Principles and Practice Available online via Lexis Advance using the link above.
- Hellerstein & Hellerstein: State Taxation (WG&L) Available online via Westlaw and Checkpoint using the link above.
- Tax Foundations's Center for State Tax Policy The Tax Foundation’s Center for State Tax Policy produces and markets timely and high-quality data, research, and analysis on state fiscal issues that influence the debate toward economically principled tax policies.
- NYU Conference on State and Local Taxation Each December the biggest names in state and local taxation gather in New York City and offer presentations on cutting-edge issues to their fellow practitioners at the New York University Institute on State & Local Taxation. The speakers then develop their presentations into law review-quality articles, published by Matthew Bender. Though scholarly, the articles are also very practical, laden with examples, tax-planning tips, and commentary.
- Bloomberg Law's Tax Practice Center Select the "State" tab at the top for a collection of state tax resources. In particular, the "State Tax Portfolios" and various "Chart Builders."
- Checkpoint (Thomson Reuters) In addition to state tax law resources, see the "Create-a-Chart" Tool.
Below are some other Research Guides you may find useful, depending on your area of research:
- Federal Tax Research (NYU Law Library) A ton of resources across a broad range of tax-related topics. See tabs for "Statistics," "Foreign & International Tax," "Dictionaries, Directories, & CRS Reports," and more.
- Foreign and International Tax Law Research (NYU Law Library)
- International and Foreign Tax Law Research Guide (Georgetown Law Library)
- History of the U.S. Income Tax (Library of Congress)
NOTE: When using a research guide prepared by a different library, the links may not work for you. However, if you find a title of interest, you may be able to locate it in our collection by using HOLLIS (Harvard's Library Catalog). If not, we may be able to obtain the resource through BorrowDirect or Interlibrary Loan .
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Osgoode Home > Osgoode Digital Commons > Scholarship > Research Papers, Working Papers, Conference Papers > OLSRPS > 128
Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper Series
Research paper number, answering canadian tax questions: an introduction to tax law research, document type, publication date.
Canada Income Taxation, Legal Research, Sources of Law, Statutory Interpretation, Case Law Analysis
Income taxation is a complicated area of law that requires a researcher to master not only a large volume of complex legislation, but because of its ‘accessory-law’ nature, also requires good knowledge of many other areas of law (both statutes and common law). This paper provides an introduction to tax law research in the Canadian context. It begins by introducing the tax research process in Part 1 before moving on to discuss how to find the law and material with legally enforceable consequences in Part 2. The paper, in Part 3, discusses primary sources of tax law, and explains how to read, understand, interpret, and use these sources. Part 4 discusses secondary sources of tax law, focusing on government produced materials, before bringing the entire tax law research process together in Part 5.
Ansari, Sas, "Answering Canadian Tax Questions: An Introduction to Tax Law Research" (2015). Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper Series . 128. https://digitalcommons.osgoode.yorku.ca/olsrps/128
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