Internal Revenue Code of 1986
When used in a textual context for the first time, refer to the cited section followed by “the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended,” then (hereinafter the “Code”).
Ex. 3: Section 453(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (hereinafter the “Code”).
Thereafter refer to the cited section, followed by “of the Code.”
Ex. 4: Section 302(b)(3) of the Code.
Generally, the word “section” is not capitalized except at the beginning of a sentence.
Ex. 5: Redemptions are treated in section 302 of the Code.
When a Code section is being discussed at length and the context makes clear which Code section is being discussed, the words “of the Code” may be omitted.
Ex. 6: As previously discussed, section 302(b) has been the source of substantial litigation.
When used in footnotes for the first time, follow the format of Example 3, except use (hereinafter “I.R.C.”).
Ex. 7: Section 453(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (hereinafter “I.R.C.”).
Thereafter in footnotes, use “I.R.C.” followed by “§” or “Section” and the section number.
Ex. 8: I.R.C. §302(b).
Ex. 9: I.R.C. section 302(b).
Ex. 10: I.R.C. §§302(b) and 301(a).
Ex. 11: I.R.C. sections 302(b) and 301(a).
Ex. 12: I.R.C. §§302-318.
C. Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or 1939
When used in a textual context, refer to the cited section followed by “the Internal Revenue Code of 1954” (or “1939” as the case may be), then (hereinafter the “1954 Code”).
Ex. 13: Section 115(g) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 (hereinafter the “1939 Code”).
Section 302(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (hereinafter the “1954 Code”).
When a 1954 or 1939 Code section is being discussed at length and the context makes clear the particular Code section being discussed, further references to the Code section are sufficient. However, great care must be exercised any time sections from the 1986 Code are simultaneously being considered.
Ex. 14: As previously discussed, section 115(g) of the 1939 Code was the source of substantial litigation, ultimately leading to the enactment of section 302 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (hereinafter the “1954 Code”). Section 302 has been expanded since its initial enactment, which has resulted in greater clarity for taxpayers interpreting section 302 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (hereinafter the “Code”).
Do not use “of the Code” in any context where references are being made to the 1954 Code or the 1939 Code and the 1986 Code. If the possibility of confusion exists, use “of the 1954 [or 1939] Code” and “of the 1986 Code” for clarification purposes.
When used in footnotes, all references to the 1954 Code or 1939 Code sections are made in full.
Ex. 15: Section 115(g) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939.
Section 302(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
When used in a textual context for the first time, refer to the cited provision of the regulations as in the following examples:
Ex. 43: Section 1.954-3(b)(4) of the Income Tax Regulations.
Ex. 44: Section 20.2039-4(a) of the Estate Tax Regulations.
Ex. 45: Section 25.2521-1(c)(1) of the Gift Tax Regulations.
Ex. 46: Section 301.6201-1(c) of the Statement of Procedural Rules.
Thereafter refer to the cited section followed by “of the regulations.”
Ex. 47: Redemptions are considered, in part, in section 1.301(1(c) of the regulations.
Tax forms are cited by giving the form number and the revision date, if any.
Ex. 85: Form 959 (Rev. Jan. 1978).
If the form is for a specific year, the year is given parenthetically, and in such cases there will ordinarily be no revision date.
Ex. 86: Form 1040 (2012).
Schedules are indicated by letter, followed by the form number parenthetically.
Ex. 87: Schedule K (Form 1120-DISC).
Internal Revenue Service Publications are cited by name, publication number, and abbreviated revision number.
Ex. 88: Tax Guide for Commercial Fisherman, Pub. 595 (Rev. Oct. 1979).
Thereafter, when a regulation is being discussed at length and the context makes clear which regulation section is being discussed, the regulation section may be cited simply as “Treas. Reg.”
Ex. 48: Treas. Reg. 1.301-1(c).
When used in footnotes, regulations are always cited as “Treas. Reg.”
Ex. 49: Treas. Reg. 1.301-1(c).
Proposed regulations use a citation form similar to that used for current regulations, except that in a textual context the citation is preceded by “Proposed.” However, in any cases where “Treas. Reg.” would be used, “Prop. Treas. Reg.” is substituted.
Ex. 50: Proposed section 1.954-3(b)(4) of the Income Tax Regulations is deceptively complicated.
Ex. 51: Prop. Treas. Reg. 1.301-1(c).
Temporary regulations are treated in essentially the same way as proposed regulations.
Ex. 52: Temporary section 1.367-1(c)(1) of the Income Tax Regulations.
Ex. 53: Temp. Treas. Reg. 1.367-1(c)(1).
Where the regulation indicates it is temporary (the letter “T” is included in the regulation), it is unnecessary to include the term “Temporary” or “Temp.”
Ex. 54: Section 1.301T-1(c) of the Income Tax Regulations.
Ex. 55: Treas. Reg. 1.301T-1(c).
Except in rare cases it is unnecessary to cite Treasury Regulations to the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.).
Treasury Decisions announcing regulations are always cited to the Cumulative Bulletin in which they are reproduced.
Ex. 56: T.D. 7481, 1977-1 C.B. 228.
Where regulations are no longer current, difficulties are abound in proper citation. Such regulations should be cited to a source in which the relevant language can be found, usually a Treasury Decision (T.D.).
Ex. 57: Treas. Reg. 1.901-3, T.D. 7294, 1973-2 C.B. 253, amended by T.D. 7481, 1977-1 C.B. 228.
Note, however, that this treatment is unnecessary when discussing or citing the current version of the regulation.
Regulations under the 1939 Code are cited by Code section and regulation section with 1939 indicated parenthetically.
Frequently tax practitioners do not have available in their private libraries complete sets of official reporters. Many practitioners find it convenient instead to use tax case reporters published by Commerce Clearing House, Prentice Hall, Research Institute of America and Lexis/Nexis. In addition, all Supreme Court tax cases are also published in the Internal Revenue Cumulative Bulletin. It is not uncommon, therefore, to give one or more parallel citations in addition to the official citation (which must always be given).
Ex. 107: Quick v. United States, 503 F.2d 100 (10th Cir. 1974), 74-2 USTC par. 9700, aff’g 360 F. Supp. 568 (D.C. Colo. 1973), 73-2 USTC par. 9742.
Ex.108: Central Tablet Manufacturing Co. v. United States, 417 U.S. 673 (1974), 1974-2 C.B. 109.
Where parallel citations are used, they should be used consistently throughout the writing.
In general, it is recommended that parallel citations not be used unless the writer knows that a particular reader to whom the writing is addressed will have a preference for a particular set of parallel citations. Since all tax cases are easily cross-referenced from source to source, the failure to use parallel citations will usually not cause significant inconvenience and will greatly reduce the burden of drafting, proofreading, and reading for content.
D. Specific Courts
i. United States Supreme Court
Supreme Court cases are cited to the United States Supreme Court Reports that are published by the Government Printing Office. Decisions on petitions for certiorari are cited to the same reporter. Ordinarily it is not necessary to give the history of a case decided by the Supreme Court, except in the event where a rehearing has been requested.
Ex. 109: Central Tablet Manufacturing Co. v. United States, 417 U.S. 673 (1974).
Ex. 110: Helvering v. Stuart, 317 U.S. 154 (1942), rehearing denied 317 U.S. 711 (1942).
The Supreme Court is the only court that is always referred to by a capital “C” in legal writing.
Ex. 111: The decision by the Court resolved the conflict between the circuit courts of appeals.
ii. United States Circuit Courts of Appeals
Cases appealed to a Circuit Court of Appeals are cited to their official reporter, “Federal Reporter,” published by West Publishing Company. Federal Reporter is in three series – the first series (F.), the second series (F.2d) and the third series (F.3d). The particular circuit is indicated parenthetically along with the year the case was decided.
Ex. 112: Hansen v. Commissioner, 471 F.3d 1921 (9th Cir. 2006).
Ex. 113: Given v. Commissioner, 238 F.2d 579 (8th Cir. 1956).
Ex. 114: Baldwin Locomotive Works v. United States, 221 F. 59 (3rd Cir. 1915).
iii. Federal District Court
Cases tried in Federal District Court are cited to their official reporter, Federal Supplement, published by West Publishing Company. The reporter segment of the citation is “F.Supp.” The particular district court is indicated parenthetically with the year.
Ex. 115: Rockswold v. United States, 471 F.Supp. 1385 (D.Minn. 1979).
A few pre-1932 district court cases have been reported in the “Federal Reporter.”
Ex. 116: De Ganay v. Lederer, 239 F. 568 (E.D. Pa. 1917).
Notice that the district is given, but not the division. In states (including the District of Columbia) where there is only one district court, “D.” is followed by the state.
Ex. 117: Rockswold v. United States, 471 F.Supp. 1385 (D.Minn. 1979).
Ex. 118: Smith v. United States, 999 F.Supp. 999 (D.D.C. 1999).
In many states more than one district court exists and an additional geographic initial is used.
Ex. 119: De Ganay v. Lederer, 239 F. 568 (E.D. Pa. 1917).
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