Who Controls the Tax Code: An Expert's Perspective

The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) is the body of law that codifies all federal tax laws, including taxes on income, wealth, gifts, excise taxes, alcohol, tobacco and employment. This code is the definitive source of all U. S. tax laws and has the force of law in and of itself.

It begins with the IRC, enacted by Congress in Title 26 of the United States Code (26 U. C.).The IRC is complex and its sections must be read in the context of the entire Code and the court decisions that interpret it. Don't be fooled by false interpretations of IRC promoted by providers of anti-tax evasion schemes. Treasury Regulations (26 C.

F. R.) are also an important part of federal tax law. In addition to participating in the enactment of Treasury (Tax) Regulations, the IRS publishes a regular series of other forms of official tax guidance, including income resolutions, revenue procedures, notices and announcements. These items are distributed through the Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB), a weekly collection of articles of general interest to the tax professional community. The IRS also frequently publishes individual articles before they are published in the IRB. The rulings and procedures reported in the IRB do not have the force and effect of Treasury tax regulations, but can be used as precedents.

No document not published in the IRB can be relied upon, used, or cited as a precedent in resolving other cases. When applying judgments and procedures published in the IRB, the effect of legislation, regulations, court decisions, judgments and subsequent proceedings must be considered. Governments enact laws and enter into treaties with other nations to determine how businesses and other taxpayers should be taxed. These laws are then interpreted by taxpayers, tax authorities and, ultimately, sometimes by courts. The tax code is very long and complicated because it includes all tax laws designed to promote a specific cause or benefit a certain constituency. The rates and merits of various taxes imposed by authorities are obtained through the political process inherent in these bodies of power, and cannot be directly attributed to the real scope of tax legislation itself.

Tax laws began to be codified in 1874 but there was no central and comprehensive source for them at that time. There is a legal obligation to complete tax and commercial law to register as a tax agent on the Board of Tax Professionals. Either of Australia's two CPAs require accountants to complete a course in tax law and financial services law.

Jacob Macdonnell
Jacob Macdonnell

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