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ABA Tax Challenge Research Guide: Getting Started on Tax Law Research

Introduction to Tax-Specific Sources

Like with other areas of law, tax law materials can be secondary, primary, in print, and on the web. This section of the guide will introduce you to different types of resources for tax-specific information which are available to law students either through the UNM School of Law Library or by virtue of being free to access. This guide will also provide you some background on teh precedential value of certain materials.

Getting Started

Like with other areas of law with which you may be unfamiliar, it is a good idea to start off with secondary sources such as treatises. Examples of good resources to start off with are the Standard Federal Tax Reporter ("the Standard") and Tax Management Portfolios ("TMPs"). These resources can help you get a better understanding of terminology for the topic you are researching and can direct you to sources of primary law. 

The Standard Federal Tax Reporter (Available in print)

  • Includes comprehensive collection and coverage of federal tax laws, regulations (proposed, temporary and final), and court and agency decisions and rulings. 
  • Organized by IRC section and allows you to navigate easily from primary material to analytical and explanatory resources that help you interpret and apply the law.
  • The most current volume is available for in-house browsing in the law library on the upper floor under the call number KF 6285 C6S7 
  • Earlier volumes are available to be checked-out. A PDF with details on using the resource is linked below.

Tax Management Portfolios (Available in print)

  • This encyclopedia provides a detailed, straight-forward discussion of issues with references to important statutes, cases, regulations, and other controlling legal authority.
  • The print version is a large collection of spiral-bound volumes, grouped by broad topic area, with each individual volume covering a specific, narrow set of issues.
    • Volumes are updated by adding new and removing outdated sections.
    • Located on the Upper Floor, KF 6289 A1T35 

Other Treatises

  • U.S. Master Tax Guide: Located on upper and lower floors KF6285.C6S722
  • Internal Revenue Manual: Compiles those materials most immediately useful to tax practitioners. Located on upper floor, KF 6304 A4
  • Print hornbooks and nutshell-type materials: Located on upper and lower floors in the range of KF 6365-6369

Federal Tax Databases

While there are a number of databases in which you can find federal tax materials, those listed in this box are available to UNM School of Law student through the law library.

Westlaw Edge

  • Offers primary and secondary tax materials

Lexis Advance

  • Offers primary and secondary tax materials
  • Includes several Mathew Bender treatises and a select number of Tax Analyst publications
  • Also offers a Tax Center


  • Offers primary and secondary tax materials
  • Includes U.S. Tax Reporter and Federal Tax Reporter (note- this is NOT the same as "the Standard"
  • Also offers Warren Gordham and Lamont treatises and journals

CCH Tax Compliance Library/Cheetah

  • Accessible from UNM School of Law Campus
  • Provides information on federal tax legislation, IRS letter rulings, tax cases and news.


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