TEFRA continued the federal tax exemption for state bond interest as long as the bond is registered, with each seller and buyer being recorded for audit purposes. Anonymous bearer bonds, which often were used in money laundering, were no longer exempt however. South Carolina sued to have the federal tax advantage restored for all their bonds.
The Court also ruled that a nondiscriminatory federal tax on the interest earned on state bonds does not violate the intergovernmental tax immunity doctrine; this is the case which permitted the federal taxation of interest income on bonds issued by state governments in the United States. In this case, the Supreme Court stated that the contrary decision of the Court 1895 in the case of Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co. had been "effectively overruled by subsequent case law."