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Federal Tax Research: Basic Resources

Online and print resources to research federal tax.

Judicial Opinions

When researching case law, you will find judicial opinions from the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court. You will also come across the decisions of the U.S. Tax Courts; the U.S. Tax Court is not a part of the judicial branch of government, but is a special court created and empowered by the Congress on the United States to hear tax matters.

Types of Decisions of the U.S. Tax Court

Regular Decisions are those that are presumed to have value as precedents or involve issues that have not previously been considered. Regular decisions are generally regarded as stronger authorities than memorandum decisions.

Regular decisions are published in the U.S. Tax Court Reports.

Memorandum Decisions are issued when the Chief Judge believes that the case is primarily concerned with the application of existing law or an interpretation of the facts. If issues or points of law related to the problem at hand are addressed in both regular and memorandum decisions then both should be considered.

Memorandum decisions are not published in the official reporter, but can be found on the Thomson Reuters Checkpoint and Wolters Kluwer Cheetah databases. 

The Small Case Division issues Summary Opinions, which do not have precedential value. They are also found in Checkpoint and Cheetah. 

Print Access Points

You can access Tax Court decisions at the LRC in our print Tax Collection, though recent decisions may only be available in databases on the web rather that in the LRC's print reporters.

Access Points