This was not a planned blog post, but I’m so excited I just have to share: I just got my 2008-2009 Federal Income Tax Code and Regulations Selected Sections. It’s purple!

It’s not that I love purple so much, but I absolutely love getting the new code and regs. I’m a CCH gal myself, though certainly opinions can differ about whether CCH is the best source for the code and regs, but seriously, opinions cannot differ about whether it’s awesome to get the new code and regs.

It’s awesome in part because it’s necessary; tax law changes all the time, and 2007’s version is actually out of date now. But it’s also awesome because this book and I are going to be very, very close over the next year. By next July, it’s going to be a mess. I will have crossed out the numbers in the sections with inflation adjustments and written in this year’s numbers. The cover will be torn. There will be tabs in odd places (2007’s Selected Sections features a tab by Section 62(a)(4), “Deductions Attributable to Rents and Royalties.” Why? I do not know). There will be once-useful and eventually mysterious notes on the empty pages in the back. (Examples from 2007: Useful: “Discuss 170(f)(8)? Procedural, not substantive.” Mysterious: “Discuss Pascal’s Wager?” Yes, “?” indeed.)

Also, this is the shorter tax law (a mere 2027 pages, as opposed to the far more massive eight-volume full set). While getting the full set is of course exciting, the one-volume version has its own special benefits. True conversation from a recent trip to NY to visit a friend of mine–let’s call him Jeff.

Jeff: “Jeez, why is your suitcase so heavy? You’re only here for three days.”

Me: “Because it has tax law in it.”

Jeff: “You brought the code? Why?” [Note: He may actually have said “Loser!” but I prefer to remember it as “Why?”]

Me: “You never know when you might need it. And of course I didn’t bring the code–only selected sections!”

Yeah, it’s true I didn’t need the code on that trip. But you never know! Really!

Finally, these books (either selected sections or full code and regs) can be useful even after other, more updated books have come to take their place. We’re talking about thick, sturdy volumes here. Sure, it might not be realistic to build a chair out of them (though it might be, actually…need to think about this more…), but I have used them to bring my home speakers to the correct height; to block open doors; to hold down boxes; to keep my cat away from things that could suffer cat damage; and on and on.

So, this is a great day for me. 2008-2009 Edition Federal Income Tax Code and Regulations Selected Sections, welcome!

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6 Responses

  1. Cute post! I used to work in a tax litigation dept and until I started there I had no idea how complex and time intensive it would be. Laws that change every year sure make for a busy office!

  2. Eric Goldman says:

    Have you considered using an electronic copy of the tax code? 🙂 If it’s a PDF, you can even make comments on it! Eric.

  3. Sarah Lawsky says:

    Eric–There is some kind of flat, round item tucked in a plastic jacket at the back of the book I received. Investigation suggests that it may be a flying disc, although perhaps not a toy, as the edges are sharp enough that children should probably be kept away from it.

  4. Hauk says:

    This is one of the best posts I think I’ve ever read. I have no idea why.

  5. TRE says:

    Probably because the post suggests a world of tax law suitable for a short lived but iconic romantic comedy about tax lawyers, Hauk?

  6. John McCarron says:

    I bookmarked this page back in August of 08, after completing Fed Tax I and prior to taking Fed Tax II:Corporate & Estate/Gift Tax. I totally get it now. I think I am taking my code (selected sections) home for the holidays.