Skip to main content

Tax Research - Federal

This research guide highlights important sources and provides tips for researching federal tax law.

About this Guide

This research guide provides a basic framework for researching United States tax law, recommending sources and providing tips for tax students and practitioners. The scope of this guide focuses on US-only transactions and law; it does not cover international and foreign tax research, nor does it cover state and local tax law research. This guide highlights some of the most useful sources, but does not necessarily provide a comprehensive list of every federal tax source available.

While tax is a complicated area of law and each research assignment is different, I will set forth a general framework for how to research many tax issues. Before you begin your research, make sure that you understand the issue you are researching and the relevant facts. Generally, it is best to start with a secondary source like a treatise or a specialized tax resource, such as the Standard Federal Tax Reporter (CCH) or the Federal Tax Coordinator (RIA). Next, make sure you know which section(s) of the Internal Revenue Code affect your issue. From there, find any relevant treasury regulations and IRS regulatory guidance documents. Finally, see if there are any cases on your topic.

To navigate this guide, use the links on the left to select a source type. If you have any questions or need assistance with your research, please feel free to contact me or any of the USF's Zief Law Library research librarians.


Tax Research Handbooks

The following handbooks provide detailed guidance on finding federal tax law information.

Bluebook Citations

The Bluebook has special citation formats for tax materials. For Internal Revenue Code citations, see R 12.9 (20th ed. p. 129). For Treasury Regulations, IRS Guidance Documents, and Tax Court decisions, see T1 (20th ed. pp. 241-42).

School of Law | 2130 Fulton Street | San Francisco, CA 94117-1080 | (415) 422-6307