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Federal Tax Research: Current Regulations

This guide provides information on federal tax law and identifies pertinent print and online resources available through the NYU Law Library.

Tax Regulations Basics

"A regulation is issued by the Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department to provide guidance for new legislation or to address issues that arise with respect to existing Internal Revenue Code sections. Regulations interpret and give directions on complying with the law." (IRS website)

Final regulations (or rules) are published in the Federal Register and are codified in the Code of Federal Regulations. IRS regulations are mostly found in volume 26 of the CFR.

Final and temporary regulations are "printed . . .[u]nder the heading 'Treasury Decisions' (T.D.) in the Internal Revenue Bulletins (I.R.B.), . . . [and] in the Cumulative Bulletin (C.B.)." (Publication of Regulations, IRM § 4.10.7.2.3.5) Treasury Decisions (either final or temporary regulations) are numbered sequentially. 

As per the Bluebook citation quoted below, citations to IRS tax regulations often do not include a reference to the pertinent CFR title (title 26). The CFR title number is replaced with "Treas. Reg."

Citation, Tax Regulations

The following citation resources may be informative.

  • Bluebook T1.2, Federal Administrative & Executive Materials ( "Although Department of Treasury regulations are published under title 26 of the C.F.R., cite as <Treas. Reg.>. For unamended regulations, cite to the year of promulgation.  If the regulation is a temporary regulation, indicate such: >Treas. Reg. § 1.72-16(a) (1963).>Temp. Treas. Reg. § 1.338-4T(k) (1985) . . . ")
  • Bluebook R. 14, Administrative and Executive Materials
  • IRM  § 4.10.7.2.3.6, Citing the Regulations ("The first division is the CFR part number and indicates the subject of the regulation. The part number appears before the decimal point in a citation . . .The numbers immediately after the decimal point refer to the Code section to which the regulations apply . . .The section number of the regulation is separated from the Code section by a hyphen . . .")
  • TaxCite, Pt. 1, C.1, Treasury Regulations

Abbreviations, Tax Regulations

Below are pertinent abbreviations.

  • Code of Federal Regulations=C.F.R. or CFR
  • Federal Register=Fed.Reg.
  • Treasury Decision=T.D. or TD
  • Treasury Regulation=Treas.Reg.

Named Groups of Regulations

Certain grouping of regulations are informally given names.

Check-the-box regulations, Treas. Reg. § 301.7701-1 et seq.

Sources of Tax Regulations

Below are links to sources offering current regulatory material on tax topics.

Warning: Some of the sources listed below may also contain superseded regulatory material. Researchers should independently verify the currency of any given regulation.

Sources of Regulations (Not Specific to Tax)

Below are links to sources offering current regulatory material--specifically the Code of Federal Regulations and the Federal Register.

Warning: Some of the sources listed below may also contain superseded regulations. Researchers should independently verify the currency of any given regulation.