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Federal Tax Research Guide

A guide to conducting federal tax research.

Revenue Procedures

A Revenue Procedure is an official statement of a procedure that affects the rights or duties of taxpayers under the Code, related statutes, regulations, and treaties that should be a matter of public knowledge. A Revenue Procedure generally provides instructions for return filing or other procedures. Sometimes a Rev. Proc. has a substantive effect (e.g., interest rate tables).

Revenue Rulings

A Revenue Ruling is an official interpretation by the IRS of the Code, related statutes, tax treaties, and regulations. It explains the IRS's position on how the law is applied to a specific set of facts. 

Any taxpayer whose circumstances are substantially the same as those described in the Ruling can rely on it.

Internal Revenue Bulletin Material

The Internal Revenue Service publishes the Internal Revenue Bulletin ("IRB") weekly. The Cumulative Bulletin ("CB") is a semi-annual compiliation of the IRB. The IRS publishes several different types of administrative guidence in the IRB, including:

  • Revenue Rulings (Rev. Rul.)
  • Revenue Procedures (Rev. Proc.)
  • Notices
  • Annoucements
  • Actions on Decision

In order to find IRB material, use CCH Standard Federal Tax Reporter, CCH or Thomson Reuters Checkpoint online, WESTLAW or Lexis.

In WESTLAW:

FTX-CB = Cumulative Bulletin

FTX-RELS = All IRS releases

FTX-RR = Revenue Rulings

FTX-RP = Revenue Procedures

FTX-ANN = Notices & Announcements

FTX-AOD = Actions on Decision

In Lexis:

IRS Cumulative Bulletin database

IRS Revenue Rulings database

In print:

Other IRB Guidance

Notices: Provide guidance before Revenue Rulings and Revenue Procedures have been finalized. 

Announcements: A public pronouncement that has only immediate or short-term value. These tend to fall into several categories:

  • Corrections to previously-published regulations
  • Lists of organizations classified as private foundations
  • Extensions of time to file forms (such as after a natural disaster)
  • Press Releases.

Actions on Decision: A memorandum by the IRS after losing in litigation stating whether or not it will appeal similar cases in the future. ("Acquiescence")