Tax Crimes Statutes

INTERNAL REVENUE CODE (TITLE 26 U.S. CODE)

The organization for tax crimes in Title 26, Internal Revenue Code, is as follows (from top level down to the actual tax crimes):

Subpart F - Procedure and Administration.

Chapter 66 - Limitations 
Chapter 75 Crimes, Other Offenses and Forfeitures
Subchapter A - Crimes
Part 1 - General Provisions


  • § 7201. Attempt to evade or defeat tax
  • § 7202. Willful failure to collect or pay over tax
  • § 7203. Willful failure to file return, supply information, or pay tax
  • § 7204. Fraudulent statement or failure to make statement to employees
  • § 7205. Fraudulent withholding exemption certificate or failure to supply information
  • § 7206. Fraud and false statements
  • § 7207. Fraudulent returns, statements, or other documents
  • § 7208. Offenses relating to stamps
  • § 7209. Unauthorized use or sale of stamps
  • § 7210. Failure to obey summons
  • § 7211. False statements to purchasers or lessees relating to tax
  • § 7212. Attempts to interfere with administration of internal revenue laws
  • § 7213. Unauthorized disclosure of information
  • § 7213A. Unauthorized inspection of returns or return information
  • § 7214. Offenses by officers and employees of the United States
  • § 7215. Offenses with respect to collected taxes
  • § 7216. Disclosure or use of information by preparers of returns
  • § 7217. Prohibition on executive branch influence over taxpayer audits and other investigations


  • CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE (TITLE 18 U.S. CODE)

    Title 18 - Crimes and Criminal Procedure
    Part 1 - Crimes
    Chapter 1 - General Provisions








    MONEY & FINANCE (TITLE 31 U.S. CODE)

    Subtitle IV - Money
    Chapter 53 - Monetary Transactions
    Subchapter II - Records and Reports on Monetary Instruments Transactions

    GUIDE TO CODE PROVISIONS

    The links above are to the LII online version of the United States Code, including Title 26 (Internal Revenue Code) and Title 18 (Crimes and Criminal Procedure.  LII is a great resource for Code provisions generally and, in the case of title 26, the Regulations.  The URL links to the Code provisions are in the following format:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/[Title]/[Code Section]

    For example, the link to tax evasion, § 7201, is:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/7201

    Readers desiring any Code provision can just use the format noted above by including the title and the code section.  For example, the following is the link to the FBAR criminal provision,

    31 U.S.C. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/31/5322

    For more official versions of the United States Code, I refer readers to the following:
    • Office of Law Revision all Titles here and Title 26 here  where specific code sections can be searched and, via an outline structure, all Titles can be viewed (this presumably is the most official; the House of Representative's Office of Law Revision Counsel offers a helpful detailed guide to the United States Code and Content here)
    • The Government Printing Office ("GPO"), here.  
    Also, for more background on the U.S.C. and the importance of reading the notes to the statutes, see On the Internal Revenue Code and Statutes on my Federal Tax Procedure Blog, here.

    Discussion of Code and Uncodified Tax Legislation 


    The following is from John A. Townsend, Federal Tax Procedure, working draft for 2019 editions as of November 20, 2018 (footnotes omitted)):
    Congress enacts law.  Those laws appear in the Statutes at Large.  Those laws are commonly, but not always, presented in the U.S. Code (“U.S.C.”) which arranges laws into 54 broad “Titles” according to subject matter.  These Titles are of two types–Titles that have been enacted by Congress (“Positive Law Titles”) and Titles that have not been enacted but are editorial compilations of the underlying Statutes at Large by the House Office of Law Revision (“Non-positive Law Titles”).  For example, Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure, has been enacted as a positive law, hence Title 18 is a Positive Law Title; Title 18 is the Statute at Large for all of Title 18.  Where the U.S. Code itself is not enacted as a Positive Law Title but is instead simply a compilation by the House Office of Law Revision from Statutes at Large, the U.S. Code is only prima facie evidence of the law (i.e., the underlying Statutes at Large) but is not the law.  Where the U.S. Code is enacted as positive law (such as Title 18) and subsequently amended, the amended U.S. Code is the law because the Code is the Statute at Large rather than a compilation of the Statutes at Large.

    The Internal Revenue Code was first enacted as positive law in 1939 and then again in 1954. Unlike the other Positive Law Titles (e.g., Title 18), the Internal Revenue Code was not enacted as Positive Law Title with a number, but was rather enacted as the Internal Revenue Code.  The Internal Revenue Code, the Positive Law, is compiled into Title 26, so that Title 26 is not a Positive Law Title (hence not Positive Law) but the Internal Revenue Code is Positive Law.  The Internal Revenue Code is the only Positive Law Code that was not enacted as a Positive Law Title in the U.S.C.

    Although not an issue for federal tax law, the question is what to do with the statutes that are compiled into Non-Positive Law Titles.  The underlying statutes are the law, not the Non-Positive Law Title compilations.  Hence, properly, citations to that law should be to the underlying statutes rather than to the Non-Positive Law Titles.  The logistical problem is that the Statutes at Large are not updated with amendments after the date of enactment.  Hence, care must be taken in working with Non-Positive Law Titles, but, as noted, this is not a problem in the tax law in working with the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or Title 26 for that matter which is a mirror of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and thus does include the amendments).

    Moreover, there is law–enacted statutes–that is never codified (i.e., for tax legislation, not codified into the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) and appears only in the Statutes at Large; in such cases, that law either does not appear in the official statutory text of the U.S.C.  but, at least sometimes, may appear in a note to a section in the official U.S.C. Title; care should be taken to insure that third party publishers’ versions of the Title include those notes which can be helpful.  A good example of such “uncodified” tax law is § 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978, which is legislation giving taxpayers certain relief in the ongoing problem of characterizing service provides as employees or independent contractors; that uncodified provision is referred to in a note to 26 U.S.C. § 3401. (I discuss § 530 relief in its context later in the text beginning on p. 103)

    Most legislation affecting the federal tax law is in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (as amended from time to time).  The Internal Revenue Code is the great compendium of the tax law.  By great, I refer to size more than grand design, but there is a grand design (imperfectly implemented).  For example, most Internal Revenue Code sections dealing with procedure are in Subtitle F - Procedure and Administration, which is broken down into Chapters and other subparts somewhat topically.  

    Readers interested in the footnotes can get them from the Practitioner Edition of the Federal Tax Procedure which is published on my SSRN page, here, at least by early August 2018.