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Taxation Research: Legislative Histories

Congressional Documents: Legislative History

You may also need to consult documents produced by and for the United States Congress during the legislative process in order to determine the meaning of a statute and the intent of the Congress in passing the law.

Revenue laws are always introduced first in the House of Representatives and considered by the House Ways and Means Committee. After a measure is voted on and passed by the House, it is sent to the Senate, where the measure is considered by the Senate Finance Committee. The House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee will usually hold hearings on a revenue bill.

Documents prepared by the U.S. Congressional Budget Office and the Department of the Treasury, Office of Tax Policy, may be considered by these committees. Witnesses who appear at the hearings may provide documents to the committee, too. After hearings have been held, each committee will issue a report. After the Senate passes the measure, differences between the House and Senate versions will be ironed out by a Conference Committee. The House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee together form the Joint Committee on Taxation.

The JCT issues Blue Books, explanations of enacted tax legislation.

Tax legislative histories

  • Reams, Bernard D., et al. A Guide and Analytical Index to the Internal Revenue Acts of the United States, 1909-1950: Legislative Histories, Laws, and Administrative Documents. LAW Library KF6276 .I57 1921a Index
     
  • Seidman, Jacob Stewart. Legislative History of Federal Income and Excess Profits Tax Laws, 1953-1939. New York, Prentice-Hall, 1954. STROZIER LIBRARY HJ4652 .S4
  • Seidman's Legislative History of Federal Income Tax Laws, 1938-1861. J. S. Seidman. New York: Prentice-Hall. Looseleaf. STROZIER LIBRARY HJ4651 .S35 1938
  • Federal Income, Gift, and Estate Taxation (Rabkin & Johnson). Albany: M. Bender, 1953- Looseleaf LAW Library KF6365 .R3
  • The Tax Reform Act of 1986. Washington, D.C.: Tax Management, 1986. LAW Library KF6461.5 .B8 no.986b (storage)
  • Tax Reform 1984: A Legislative History of the Tax Reform Act of 1984: The Law, Reports, Hearings, Debates, and Related Documents. Bernard D. Reams Jr. Buffalo, N.Y.: W.S. Hein, 1985. LAW Library KF6276.557 .A15 1985
  • Internal Revenue Acts of the United States: Revenue Acts of 1953-1972 with Legislative Histories, Laws and Congressional Documents. Compiled by Bernard D. Reams, Jr. Buffalo, N.Y.: W.S. Hein, 1985. Microfiche. LAW Library KF6276 .I58 1953-72
  • Internal Revenue Acts of the United States: the Revenue Act of 1954 with Legislative Histories, Laws and Congressional Documents. Compiled by Bernard D. Reams, Jr. Buffalo, N.Y.: W.S. Hein, 1982. Microfiche. LAW Library KF6276 .I58 1954
  • Internal Revenue Acts of the United States, 1909-1950: Legislative Histories, Laws, and Administrative Documents. Edited by Bernard D. Reams. Buffalo, N.Y.: W.S. Hein, 1979. Microfiche. LAW Library KF6276 .I58 1950-51
  • Tax Management Inc., Tax Management—Primary Sources: Series V. 100-104th Congresses. LAW Library KF6365 .B883
  • The 1939 Code history is also published in the Cumulative Bulletin, 1939-2, pt. I. LAW Library KF6301 .A551
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