History Of The Internal Revenue Code

The last blog presented some basic information about the Internal Revenue Code (IRC or “Tax Code”), enacted by Congress in Title 26 of the United States Code (26 U.S.C. et seq). As all tax attorneys and accountants know, this “Tax Code” contains the federal domestic statutory tax law of the United States. This installment will review the history of the Internal Revenue Code.

U.S. statutes were not codified until 1874. Up until this time, congressional acts were not separately organized and published in separate volumes based on subject matter. Codifications of statutes first began in 1873 and created the Revised Statutes of the United States, approved June 22, 1874, effective for the laws in force as of December 1, 1873.

As of the later 19th Century, Title 35 of the Revised Statutes was the “Tax Code.” A project began in 1919 by a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, who sought to re-codify the entire body of federal statutes, eventually resulting in the new United States Code in 1926.

An Act of Congress re-codified these statutes in 1939 as the “Internal Revenue Code,” which later became known as the “Internal Revenue Code of 1939.” Future legislation amended and updated the 1939 Code.

On August 16, 1954, both the Internal Revenue Service and the Internal Revenue Code was greatly reorganized by the 83rd United States Congress and expanded. Ward M. Hussey was the lead drafter of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, which was published in volume 68A of the United States Statutes at Large. Hussey was the chief legislative draftsman of the House of Representatives. The new version of the Code was thereafter referred to as the “Internal Revenue Code of 1954” and the prior version referred to as the “Internal Revenue Code of 1939.”

The Tax Reform Act of 1986 renamed the 1954 Code the “Internal Revenue Code of 1986.” Although the Tax Reform Act significantly amended many important tax provisions, it did not formally re-codify any part of the Tax Code. The 1986 Code retains the basic structure of the 1954 Code and includes most of the same lettering and numbering of subtitles, chapters, subchapters, etc.

The Internal Revenue Code of 1986 survives today as the main body of our domestic statutory tax legislation. It is often necessary to review and interpret this complicated body of federal tax law to resolve important tax-related issues. At this time, it is important for any taxpayer, whether an individual or business, to engage the advice of an experienced and knowledgeable tax professional. If you have any question about taxes, please call THE TAX EXPERTS at the Thorgood Law Firm at 212-490-0704 for assistance or learn more online at www.thorgoodlaw.com. The consultation is FREE!History Of The Internal Revenue Code

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