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Tax Research - Federal

This guide on federal tax research explains where and how to find tax materials.

Legislative History: A Research Example

Research Question:

What is the purpose of Section 7701(l) of the Internal Revenue Code, and what tax issues did Congress mean to address by this new subsection?

Step One: Retrieve the history citations.

To determine when a subsection of the IRC was added or amended, or which Public Law enacted or amended a subsection, look for the subsection's history or credits citations, which are printed under the text of the subsection of the Code. 

While you can retrieve a subsection's history or credits citations from many sources of the Internal Revenue Code, CCH's Standard Federal Tax Reporter (print) and CCH IntelliConnect (online) provide the most detailed information.

Print. In CCH's Standard Federal Tax Reporter, consult the first two volumes, which are called "Internal Revenue Code I & II," to look up Section 7701(l) and the history or credits citations at the end of the subsection.

Online. In CCH IntelliConnect, click on: Citations > Federal Tax > Federal Tax Primary Sources > Current Internal Revenue Code. In the "IRC Code & Hist. Sec." search box, enter the section number.

The search results will display the section as well as individual legislative histories for each subsection.

Find and select the subsection that you are researching: Section 7701(l).

Look for the history citations at the end of the subsection.

The notes indicate that Section 7701(l) was enacted by Section 13238 of Public Law No. 103-66 (The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993) and that Section 7701(l) has not been amended by any subsequent legislation.

Step Two: Identify the relevant committee report.

Using a specialized tax database, identify the committee report that discusses the section of the Internal Revenue Code that you are researching.

Note that the databases will not provide the relevant committee report in full. Rather, they will provide an excerpt that discusses the particular section. The databases may differ on the length of the excerpt provided.

CCH IntelliConnect

Locate the section that you are researching by clicking on: Citations > Federal Tax > Federal Tax Primary Sources > Current Internal Revenue Code. In the "IRC Code & Hist. Sec." search box, enter the section number, and then select it from the results. At the top of the text of the section, select "Committee Reports."

The results will list all committee reports that discuss Section 7701. Because Section 7701(l) was enacted by Public Law No. 103-66 (The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993), look for and select the committee report that is related to this.

Read the excerpt from the committee report to try to find an answer to your research question about the legislative history of Section 7701(l).

RIA Checkpoint

Locate the section that you are researching by clicking "Find by Citation." In the "Current Code" search box, enter the section number.

At the top of the text of the section, select "Com Rpts."

The right sidebar will display all committee reports that discuss legislation affecting Section 7701. 

Find and select the report that is related to P.L. 103-66 (The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993). Read the excerpt from the committee report to try to find an answer to your research question about the legislative history of Section 7701(l).

Lexis Advance Tax

From the Lexis Advance Research drop-down menu, select Lexis Advance Tax. Locate the section that you are researching by clicking on: Federal > Get a Document. In the “IRC Sec.” search box, enter the section number, and then select it from the results.

To the left of the text of the section, expand “IRC Legislative History.”

The results will list all relevant public laws. Because Section 7701(l) was enacted by Public Law No. 103-66 (The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993), look for and select this.

Read the excerpt from the committee report to try to find an answer to your research question about the legislative history of Section 7701(l). Note that the excerpt includes a link to the full committee report.

Bloomberg Law: Tax

Locate the section that you are researching by entering the section number in the “Go to Document” box.

Once you are viewing the section, click on “Related” to the right of the text of the section.

Using the filters on the left, narrow by collection to “Legislative Materials.” Select the committee report that is related to P.L. 103-66 (The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993). Read the excerpt from the committee report to try to find an answer to your research question about the legislative history of Section 7701(l).

Step Three: Download the full committee report.

You can view the full committee report, including its original pagination, through ProQuest Congressional

Use an Advanced Search of Legislative & Executive Publications to retrieve the report. You can search by the title of the committee report, limit by Congress, and filter to House & Senate Reports. 

Open the committee report as a full-text PDF.

 

ProQuest Congressional Tutorial

Running time: 2:55

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