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Accounting Information > Governing Bodies and Regulations > Internal Revenue Code
Internal Revenue Code

The Internal Revenue Code is the authoritative guide on United States income tax law. Amendments to the Internal Revenue Code, when made, are signed into law by the President, but only after they have been approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Internal Revenue Code is a very lengthy and detailed piece of literature. It is the basis of everything that you see appearing on an income tax return, including all of the additional forms and schedules that are often required for different tax deductions and credits.


The Internal Revenue Code is broken down into eleven sections, called subtitles, and labeled A through K. Subtitle A, Income Taxes, is composed of six chapters, two of which have been repealed. The four remaining chapters state the tax law related to normal taxes and surtaxes, tax on self-employment income, withholding of tax on nonresident aliens and foreign corporations, and consolidated returns.

Subtitle B of the Internal Revenue Code, Estate and Gift Taxes, contains four chapters. One chapter discusses estate tax, while another chapter deals with gift tax. There is a chapter on the tax on generation-skipping transfers, and one on special valuation rules. The third subtitle, subtitle C, Employment Taxes, is made up of six chapters. The first chapter is on federal insurance. The second and third chapters relate to the railroad retirement tax act and the federal unemployment tax act. There are also chapters on the railroad unemployment repayment tax, the collection of income tax at source on wages, and general provisions relating to employment taxes.

Subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code is about miscellaneous excise taxes. This section contains eighteen chapters, two of which were repealed. The remaining chapters cover retail excise taxes, taxes on wagering, manufacturers excise taxes, facilities and services, policies issued by foreign insurers, and certain other excise taxes. Other chapters in this subtitle include environmental taxes, public charities, private foundations and certain other tax-exempt organizations, qualified pension plans, qualified investment entities, golden parachute payments, and certain group health plans.

The Internal Revenue Code’s Subtitle E presents the tax law regarding alcohol, tobacco, and certain other excise taxes. The first chapter in this section deals with distilled spirits, wines, and beer. The second chapter covers tobacco products and cigarette papers and tubes. The third chapter is on machine guns, destructive devices, and certain other firearms. The last two chapters in the section are about greenmail and structured settlement factoring transactions.

Subtitle F, Procedure and Administration, contains twenty chapters. The information contained in these chapters includes information and returns, assessment, collection, interest, licensing and registration, and bonds. Also covered are judicial proceedings, discovery of liability and enforcement of title, and general rules. Subtitle G centers on the joint committee on taxation. The financing of presidential election campaigns is discussed in Subtitle H. Subtitle I deals with the trust fund code, while subtitle J is on coal industry health benefits. Group Health Plan Requirements are detailed in Subtitle K.

Clearly, the Internal Revenue Code covers many areas. It is a very technical document, and most of the information contained in the Code will only be used by tax professionals. The Internal Revenue Code is a valuable resource for tax research.

If you need help with your income taxes, general accounting, or financial reporting, you are in the right place. Please try out the CPA search feature on this website to find a qualified professional in your area to assist you with all your accounting and tax needs.

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