Skip to Main Content

Tax Research

Use this guide as an introduction to researching federal tax questions, for tax policy research and for finding IRS documents and other tax-related materials.

Guide Introduction

This Guide is designed to serve 2 distinct purposes ; 

1.  To assist students working on journals in finding tax sources, and

2.  As a starting point for a tax research project.  Please note this guide is not comprehensive.

How to use this Guide:

  • For Source gathering:
    • To find tax sources, first identify document.  See the abbreviations listing below.
    • If you need to find a specific type of document, use the appropriate link - see menu at left.   
    • If you do not find the document you need in this guide, check other research guides, linked in the Find Tax Research Guides box. 
    • See Uniform Probate Code box below to locate the UPC
    • See Journal Source Gathering Guide

For Research  

  • See Tax Research Resources page for links and references useful for Tax  research.  These links include sites useful for topic selection and for tax policy research.
  • Use Preemption checklist tab for a quick check that your topic has not been written on elsewhere.  This tab has a link to a comprehensive preemption check guide.
  • See Paper Writing guide for more guidance on research for writing a paper


Abbreviations key for frequently cited IRS (and other useful) documents (Bluebook format in italics):

  • acq or nonacq. - Notices of Acquiescence or Nonacquiescence
  • action on dec. also AOD - Actions on Decisions
  • ann - Announcements
  • CCA - Chief Counsel Advice
  • C.B. - Cumulative Bulletin
  • C.F.R. - Code of Federal Regulations
  • DO , also DLO - Delegation Order
  • FR, also Fed. Reg. - Federal Register
  • F.S.A.  -  Field Service Advice
  • Gen. Couns. Mem. also GCM - General Counsel Memoranda
  • I.R.B. - Internal Revenue Bulletin
  • I.R.C. - Internal Revenue Code: Title 26 of the United States Code
  • IRM - Internal Revenue Manual
  • NSAR - Non docketed Service Advice Review
  • Priv. Ltr. Rul. also PLR or LR - Private Letter Rulings
  • Prop. Treas. Reg. - Proposed Treasury Regulation
  • Rev. Proc. - Revenue Procedures
  • Rev. Rul. - Revenue Rulings
  • Stat. - Statutes at Large
  • T.D. - Treasury Decision (regulation with preamble)
  • Tech. Adv. Mem. also TAM, T.A. Memo. - Technical Advice Memoranda
  • T.C.M. - Tax Court Memorandum decisions
  • T.M.  also Tech. Mem. - Technical Memorandum (not the same as a TAM)
  • Treas. Reg. - Treasury Regulations: Title 26 of the Code of Federal Regulations

Uniform Laws, inlcuding Uniform Probate Code

Uniform Laws are created by the Uniform Laws commission.  Examples of Uniform Laws include Uniform Probate Code (see below) and Uniform Transfer to Minors Act.

Uniform Probate Code can be found:

Prior versions can be found at:

Find Tax Research Guides

One great way to get started on your research, is to find a research guide.   You can search Google or search your favorite search engine with "research guide". 

Recommended tax research guides:

Google Web Search