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This is the "Publications" page of the "Tax Law Research" guide.
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Tax Law Research  

Last Updated: Aug 22, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Publications Print Page

What are IRS "Publications"?

IRS Publications are officially published by the IRS.

They are directed to all taxpayers.

In this instance, "Publication" is a specific term, and does not apply to all IRS publications in a general sense.  They are specifically numbered as Publications.  For example, Publication 15 is the Employer's Tax Guide.

"IRS Publications explain the law in plain language for taxpayers and their advisors. They typically highlight changes in the law, provide examples illustrating Service positions, and include worksheets" (IRM  

Authoritative Value:

"Publications are nonbinding on the Service and do not necessarily cover all positions for a given issue. While a good source of general information, publications should not be cited to sustain a position" (IRM 

They do not constitute substantial authority for purposes of the substantial understatement penalty.


How Do I Access IRS Publications?

Free Electronic:

Electronic to Authorized Users:


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