Monday, January 11, 2021

Deloitte and Tax Analysts Open Tax Analysts Library to Public Without Subscription (1/11/21)

 Last week, Deloitte posted this news release:  Deloitte and Tax Analysts Take Great Strides to Increase Tax Policy Transparency:  Professional services leader joins forces with nonprofit to make federal tax law library easily accessible to the public, here.  In pertinent part, the release says:

As part of Deloitte Tax’s sponsorship, visitors to the site can now access details about the federal code, regulations, and other primary source documents, including the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; proposed, final and temporary regulations; rules for lawyers, accountants and others practicing before the IRS; Treasury decisions, IRS guidance, and private rulings; court and legislative documents; public comments on regulations; rate tables; and other correspondence, press releases and miscellaneous tax documents.

The site for access appears to be here:

This is a tremendous service to the public.  Thnks to Tax Notes and Deloitte.

I have not tested the search mechanisms for the various categories of documents.  Some quick simple testing indicates that the search and results are not of the sophisticated type for on the major legal research platforms such as Westlaw and Lexis.  Still, creative use of the search tools might make it very useful.

I generally use the Lexis platform and like it because it permits me to do date limited research -- i.e., pick up all new cases involving a search topic (e.g., FBARs) after a certain date (e.g., the date I last did that date limited search).  That permits me to pick up new materials (cases and articles).  I don't know if that can be done in the Tax Notes databases, although I did see that topics can be selected for search and the results shown in reverse chronological order.

JAT Addition (1/12/21)

I thought I would add some other free research sites that I find to be helpful and use quite frequently.  If others know of such resources, please email me and I will add to the list).

Google Scholar for Opinions

  • General, here.
  • Court Opinions – Courts May be Selected, here,
  • Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals Opinions, here.

Note on Google Scholar Court Opinions.  The opinions are posted when Google picks them up which is before official court reporter citations are available.  Later, after they become available, Google will post the opinions with the citations.  I set up Gmail alerts for saved searches which sends me daily email alerts for the items I have said as alerts.  These alerts pick up when the opinions are first posted and then when posted with citations.

CourtListener for Dockets and Filings (Including Opinions), here.

I use CourtListner (a free service that you should join) by selecting Recap Archive and then using the choices offered (I usually select the jurisdiction I want, such as SD Texas) and then search for the case.  Usually, the service will at least have the docket entries as of the time a CourtListener subscriber last accessed the Pacer entries.  And if a CourtListener has downloaded the particular docket entry on Pacer, it will  be made available to all others free on the CourtListener docket entries.  For example, the docket entries for the posting on the Stein Agee plea regarding sydicated conservation easements is here where the key documents are linked in pdf (but some of the nonkey documents are not linked because, apparently, no CourtListener member has yet downloaded from Pacer).

Statutes (Including Internal Revenue Code (Title 26)). 

I recommend Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute web offering of the Codes with links to the sections as follows:

  • U.S. Code, here,
  • Title 18 – Crimes and Criminal Procedure, here.
  • Title 26 - Internal Revenue Code, here.  (For discussion of the IRC and title 26, see here.
  • Title 28 – Judiciary and Judicial Procedure, here.
  • Title 31 – Money and Finance, here.

JAT Notes: 

1.  The LII Code offerings immediately above following are regular syntax in the URLs linking to specific Code sections and using the specific syntax can be more efficient in going quickly to a Code section.  For example, if I want to go immediately to the tax evasion section, §, I can enter the following URL:  Notice that the syntax includes "uscode," "26" [The USC Title] and then "7201" [the section I want].  So, in order to go to another IRS (Title 26) section, I just change the ending of the syntax to that Code section by replacing 7201 with the section that I want.

2.  I have the key Tax Crimes statutes by Title and Section here:

This blog post is cross-posted on my Federal Tax Procedure Blog, here.

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