Tax law books comprise only a small portion of the material necessary to educate the individual in tax law. We will discuss what is available for the embryonic tax attorney currently in the form of text books and other periodicals. Remember, like many disciplines, the law is an ongoing study of case and textbook law because it is constantly changing. More so than other disciplines because law changes very quickly because it is thoroughly based on the building blocks of law; the six sisters named Who, What, Where, Why, How and When. Tax law is similarly founded on these fine ladies. Law books either as compendiums of case law or indices of the founding principles will find that they address the following questions; to whom does the law pertain; concerning what item, thing or issue does it address; where is this law in effect; why is this law in existence; how is it enforced and organized; and when is it in effect?
There are a number of very handy internet sites that provide resources for selecting the best tax law books for either sale or borrowing through law school libraries. They are organized to provide local law schools, state tax law, ongoing tax news, textbooks, casebooks, law reviews, law journals, tax law article abstracts, resource pages (web sites that have a multitude of tax law resource links) and tax course law from many US law schools (from Northwestern School of Law to the New York University School of Law). This later offering is essentially the lecture notes, written form or in mpg format, the required reading and the extra reading assignment about varying tax law subjects.
This allows the tax law student to learn on his own initiative and function as a budding lawyer. One essential principle about being a lawyer is that to be really successful you have to read, read, and read. Many law schools insist or encourage the development of study groups because of the immense number of outstanding books on law. These groups operate on the principle that several brains are more powerful than one. Each student is assigned particular subject, law book or reference and gives detailed reports on them to the whole. This is claimed to assist the tax law student keep abreast of the vast flow of both good and bad tax law references.
This sounds like a very good plan when one realizes that there are 50 states and assorted territories in the United States, the complexities of International Tax Law and the many existing nations of the world, each with a different tax law. This amounts to a very large reading syllabus indeed. Lastly, the United States Tax Court publishes on the internet all of its’ landmark opinions but so does each state legislature. This allows a free source for new tax law books. If you live near a local university, chances are that they also have a law school library where you can conduct free research or for a slight user fee. Otherwise, the local library has in its’ reference library a very substantial collection of tax law books from which you can study. These multisources are mentioned and their use encouraged because of the very high cost of education.