Federal tax authority is comprised of both primary and secondary sources. The government's legislative, administrative and judicial branches produce primary authority in the form of statutes, treaties, regulations, rulings and judicial decisions. As with other areas of research, it is important for the tax researcher to understand the functions of these governmental bodies and the sources of law promulgated in their capacities. Secondary sources of tax authority consist of unofficial publications, such as treatises, tax services, and periodical literature. Secondary tax materials are created to locate, explain, analyze and interpret primary tax resources. By understanding these basics, the task of finding print and electronic resources that publish these materials becomes a systematic and methodical procedure facilitating the tax research process.
This research guide takes a bibliographic approach to federal tax research and explains how and where to find tax documentation. Indicated call numbers are specific to locations within the Georgetown Law Library at Georgetown University Law Center.