Tax law

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"Tax code" redirects here. For the alphanumeric code used in the UK, see Tax code (PAYE).
The Internal Revenue Code is the primary statutory basis of federal tax law in the United States. The Code of Federal Regulations is the Treasury Department's regulatory interpretation of the federal tax laws passed by Congress, which carry the weight of law if the interpretation is reasonable. Tax treaties and case law in U.S. Tax Court and other federal courts constitute the remainder of tax law in the United States.

Tax law is an area of legal study dealing with the constitutional, common-law, statutory, tax treaty, and regulatory rules that constitute the law applicable to taxation.

Major issues[edit]

Primary taxation issues facing the governments world over include;

  • Taxes on income and wealth (or estates).
  • Taxation of capital gains versus labor income.[1]
  • Ecotax (short for Ecological taxation) refers to taxes intended to promote environmentally friendly activities via economic incentives.
  • Tax evasion and avoidance leading to reduced government revenue.
  • Due to an Inefficient tax system in many underdeveloped countries, the majority of small businesses are not taxed.


In law schools, "tax law" is a sub-discipline and area of specialist study. U.S. law schools require 30 semester credit hours of required courses, 60 hours or more of electives and a combined total of at least 90 credit hours completed. Law students must choose available courses on which to focus before graduation with the J.D. degree in the United States. This freedom allows law students to take many tax courses such as federal taxation, estate and gift tax, and estates and successions before completing the Juris Doctor and taking the bar exam in a particular U.S. state.

Master of Laws (LL.M) programs are offered in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Netherlands and an increasing number of countries. Many of these programs focus on domestic and international taxation. In the United States, most LL.M. programs require that the candidate be a graduate of an American Bar Association-accredited law school. In other countries a graduate law degree is sufficient for admission to LL.M. in Taxation law programs.

The Master of Laws (LL.M) program is an advanced legal study.

General Requirements

  • J.D. (Juris Doctor) or First degree in law.
  • An English proficiency test score for students with a native language besides English.

The Juris Doctor (JD) program is offered by only a number of countries. These include, United States, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines, Singapore and the United Kingdom. The courses vary in duration of years, curriculum and whether or not further training is required, depending on which country the program is in.

General Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree.
  • Law School Admission Test (LSAT) - Required for law school admission in United States, Canada and a growing number of countries.
  • Credit requirements.

A list of tax faculty ranked by publication downloads is maintained by Paul Caron at TaxProf Blog.[2]

Taxation by jurisdiction[edit]




See also[edit]


  1. ^ Simkovic, Michael (2015). "The Knowledge Tax". University of Chicago Law Review. 82. 
  2. ^ Caron, Paul (January 28, 2016). "SSRN Tax Professor Rankings". TaxProf Blog.