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Federal Tax Research: General Counsel Memoranda

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

General Counsel Memorandum Basics

"Formerly prepared by the Interpretative Division, GCMs originally were the way the Office of Chief Counsel communicated legal advice in the context of private letter rulings and revenue rulings to the IRS assistant commissioner (technical), which eventually merged into the Office of Chief Counsel. After that, GCMs became the formal legal opinion of the chief counsel responding to inquiries from a National Office function outside of chief counsel or explaining the legal basis for the position taken in a TAM, letter ruling, or revenue ruling . . . GCMs are rarely written anymore except to repeal old GCMs" (IRS Guidance 1980-2003: An Ever-Changing Landscape, Tax Notes)

Abbreviation, General Counsel Memorandum

General Counsel Memorandum=Gen. Couns. Mem. or GCM

Online Sources for General Counsel Memoranda

Below are links to select sources offering general counsel memoranda.

Citation, General Counsel Memorandum

The following citation resources may be informative.

  • Bluebook T 1.2, Federal Administrative and Executive Materials ("General Counsel Memoranda: Cite by number and the date issued, if available. > I.R.S. Gen. Couns. Mem. 39,417 (Sept. 30, 1985).")
  • TaxCite, Pt. 1, C, 3d, Chief Counsel Memoranda (Formerly General Counsel Memoranda) ("They are cited by their number and the date on which they were approved should be included in parentheses. Examples: G.C.M. 39,880 (Oct. 8, 1992). G.C.M. 39,873 (Apr. 15, 1992). G.C.M. 34,076 (Apr. 12, 1969).")