When an issue to be researched does not involve a single Code section, or when the researcher is not sufficiently familiar with the legal landscape to jump right into Code section-specific research, the materials arranged by subject matter are usually a better place to start.
Ultimately, however, the Code section-based loose-leafs in most cases are more complete resources for one-stop shoppers. Several examples are as follows.
Federal Tax Coordinator, 2d is a multi-binder set that discusses specific tax topics in depth. Each chapter contains cross-references to other relevant topics; and discussion of each topic including extensive footnoting to relevant authorities such as Code sections, Treasury regulations, judicial decisions and IRS pronouncements.
LRC Tax KF6285 .R47 (Subscription Canceled 10/2015)
Westlaw: Federal Tax Coordinator, Second Edition (Westlaw login required)
The BNA Tax Management Portfolios, written by leading tax practioners, is a multi-volume series of soft, spiral-bound portfolios that provide in-depth, practical analysis and research on most tax topics, as well as worksheets, checklists and model documents to assist tax practitioners. Each portfolio covers a separate, individual topic and presents detailed commentary, citation and discussion of relevant authorities.
Bloomberg BNA Tax and Accounting Center: List of Portfolios (USD login required)
Mertens Law of Federal Income Taxation is particularly useful for historical background. It is a multi-volume set, organized by topic, containing a full range of topics. Mertens often provides more historical background than its competitors and is comparatively broader in scope in terms of the subjects it covers; but, in comparison with some of the other similar resources, its citations to authority and commentary are often less contemporary and up-to-date.
LRC Tax KF6365 .M4 (Subscription Canceled 07/2015 Updated version on Westlaw)
Westlaw: Mertens Law of Federal Income Taxation (Westlaw login required)
If an issue or a discrete aspect of an issue involves the interpretation or application of a specific Code section, the resources organized by Code section are among the most effective research tools. Besides their convenient arrangement for research relating to a specific Code section, they usually contain more complete research information than the subject-matter resources.
They supply the full text of the specific Code section, the full text of any regulations promulgated under the Code section, excerpts from the legislative history, and citations to and digest annotations of relevant case law and IRS pronouncements.
The Standard Federal Tax Reporter is a multi-binder loose-leaf set that contains a comprehensive compilation of authorities. It provides the full text of the Code section, followed by all relevant regulations, and digest-annotations to judicial decisions and publicly available administrative pronouncements. Often includes excerpts from relevant legislative history materials.. Each section is accompanied by an editorial explanation.
LRC Tax KF6285 .C67 (Library retains latest three editions)
VitalLaw: Standard Federal Tax Reporter (USD login required)
The United States Tax Reporter is another multi-binder loose-leaf set that contains a comprehensive compilation of authorities organized by the Code section. For each Code section, it provides the full text of the Code section, followed by all relevant regulations, and digest-annotations to judicial decisions and publicly available administrative pronouncements, including revenue rulings, revenue procedures, private letter rulings and general counsel memoranda. In addition, excerpts from relevant legislative history materials such as conference reports often follow the text of the Code section, and each section is accompanied by an editorial explanation of the Code section in the context of the other authorities cited.
LRC Tax KF6285 .U54 (Subscription Canceled 1/2012 Continued on Westlaw)
Westlaw: United States Tax Reporter (Westlaw login required)