Commmon Rules and Other Items of Consideration

The section listing in the code has each line as a URL reference to itself. Each line is marked with an anchor tag so that one can go directly to any line in the code, and each such hyperlink can be copied to your clipboard (usually by right clicking on the link) so that you can easily provide a link to any line for any other purpose. This means you can type the content you are looking for directly in the URL rather than using your browser's search function (appending "#26USC401(k)" at the end of "" will directly take you to 401(k)).

Since the 80 character limit would not allow the recreation of tables found in the tax code, the tables are located on a separate page which can be accessed by clicking on the adjacent link, marked with the "###". For example, consider this line:

1(b)### Head of household is liable for tax by ###. Base is 15% of income up to $29600.

By clicking on the "###" in the middle column, a separate page will open and directly go to the 1(b) table on that page.

All dates are given as a single digit in the format YYYYMMDD.

Cardinal numbers have common abbreviations: "first" is "1st", "second" is "2nd", and so on.

A general time period in which any rule applies is a number of tax years or calendar years; a tax year is the more common occurrence. Any reference to a "year" is probably in reference to a calendar year, since a taxable year can be abbreviated to the term "TY".

A "person" can be used to describe a "taxpayer", "individual", &c.; however, the use of the word "person" in the code is meant to give specific reference to an individual as well as a corporation. Likewise, the word "entity" is commonly used to refer to a "corporation", "organization", &c. Also, references to individuals are usually shown as "he" when internally referenced (and a spouse as "she"); e.g.:

x(A)For any TY, when a taxpayer ... &c. ...
x(A)(1)He will ... &c.

This is done in compliance with the USC's established method of referring to an individual as masculine and any spouse thereof as feminine, even though the roles may be reversed for other situations.

The terms "income", "gross income", "adjusted gross income", "taxable income", &c., have different meanings which are sometimes redefined within a given section. Be aware that there are instances when the term "income" may be used to mean something else, due to space restrictions.

Due to space restraints, the terms for income such as "pay", "wages", "compensation", and "remuneration" may be used interchangeably within the document despite their having distinct definitions and use within the actual tax code.

The words "includible" and "excludible" (or the words "included" or "excluded" in isolation) tends to mean "includible in gross income" or "excludible from gross income" or in reference to whatever type of income is being discussed.

The word "such" is very context sensitive and requires specific attention to understand its meaning. When used in a item, the word "such" usually refers to a term in an item a level above it ("such" in a subparagraph usually refers to something in its parent paragraph, "such" in a paragraph usually refers to something in its parent subsection, &c.). The other common use of "such" is in subsequent items of the same level as something which was previously defined; if a paragraph (1) defines a given "tax", a paragraph (2) of the same parent subsection will likely refer to the "tax" defined in paragraph (1) as "such tax".

Names of organizations and Acts of Congress are usually truncated in order to provide space for other important information. Most Congressional acts are referred to by their Public Law number, denoted with the abbreviation PL. I have done my best to ensure that reference to Public Laws are as specific as required, but there might be some cases where an Act which refers to a Public Law is intended to refer to a specific title or section therein.

A dash between two items indicates "through". The phrase "(1) - (5)" means paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (4), and (5).

Quantities which are at least 1000 are usually abbreviated to save space - K implies thousands, M implies millions, B implies billions, T implies trillions, &c.; e.g., the term "$50K" means fifty thousand dollars.

Abbreviations used in the OneLine Tax Code
ACMAlternative Calculation Method
ACRSAccelerated Cost Recovery System
ADAAmericans with Disabilities Act of 1990; PL 101-336
ADSAlternative Depreciation System
AECAArms Export Control Act; PL 90-269
AGIadjusted gross income
AMTAlternative minimum tax (AMT Income = Alternative minimum taxable income)
ANSIAmerican National Standards Institute
APIAmerican Petroleum Institute
ASHRAEAmerican Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers
BC/BSBlue Cross/Blue Shield
BHCbank holding corporation
BTUBritish Thermal Units
C-CorpC Corporation
CEOchief executive officer
CERCLAComprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980; PL 96-510
CFCControlled Foreign Corporation
CFOchief financial officer
CFRCode of Federal Regulations
CFTCCommodity Futures Trading Commission
CHIPChildren's Health Insurance Program
COBRAConsolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985; PL 99-272
COPheating coefficient of performance
CPACertified Public Accountant
CPIConsumer Price Index
DBDeclining Balance (depreciation method)
DISCDomestic International Sales Corporation
EAEnrolled Agent
ECEnterprise Community
EERenergy efficiency ratio
EFT ActElectronic Fund Transfer Act; title XX of PL 95-630
EICEarned Income Credit
EINEmployer Identification Number
EPAEnvironmental Protection Agency
ERCOTElectric Reliability Council of Texas
ERISAEmployee Retirement Income Security Act; PL 93-406
ESOPemployee stock ownership plan
EZEmpowerment Zone
FAAFederal Aviation Administration
FCIAForeign Credit Insurance Association
FCICFederal Crop Insurance Corporation
FCPAForeign Corrupt Practices Act; title I of PL 95-213
FDICFederal Deposit Insurance Corporation
FERCFederal Energy Regulartory Commission
FHAFarmers Home Administration
Federal Housing Administration
FICAFederal Insurance Contributions Act
FIFOFirst In, First Out (inventory method)
FMVfair market value
FPCFederal Power Commission
FSAhealth flexible spending arrangement
FSCForeign Sales Corporation
FTCFederal Trade Commission
ftsquare foot/feet
ftcubic foot/feet
FYfiscal year
GAOGovernment Accountability Office
GDPgross domestic product
GNPgross national product
GSTgeneration-skipping transfer
HMOHealth Maintenace Organization
HRAhealth reimbursement arrangement
HSAhealth savings account
HSPFheating seasonal performance factor
HUD(Department of) Housing and Urban Development
ICONDepartment of Labor's Interstate Connection Network
IEEPAInternational Economic Emergency Powers Act; title II of PL 95-223
IESNAIlluminating Engineering Society of North America
IRCInternal Revenue Code
IRC39The Internal Revenue Code of 1939
IRC86The Internal Revenue Code of 1986
IRSInternal Revenue Service
ISOInternational Standard Organization
KWHkilowatt hour
LEEDLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design
LIFOLast In, First Out (inventory method)
LSTALibrary Services and Technology Act; PL 104-208
MACRSModified Accelerated Cost Recovery System
MAGImodified adjusted gross income
MCCMortgage Credit Certificate
MFJMarried Filing Jointly
MFSMarried Filing Separately
misquare mile
MMBTUone million BTU
MSAMedical Savings Account
MWHmegawatt hour
NAICNational Association of Insurance Commissioners
NCUANational Credit Union Administration
NOLnet operating loss
OASDIOld age, survivors, and disability insurance
OCSLAOuter Continental Shelf Lands Act; PL 83-212
OIDoriginal issue discount
ORSOregon Revised Statues
PBGCPension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
PFICPassive Foreign Investment Company
PHCPublic Holding Company
PLPublic Law
PPIProducer Price Index
PURPAPublic Utility Regulatory Policy Act of 1978; PL 95-617
QPSCqualified personal service corporation
QTIPQualified Terminable Interest Property
QTPQualified Tuition Program
RCRenewal Community
REITreal estate investment trust
REMICreal estate mortgage investment conduit
RHARural Housing Administration
RHSRural Housing Service
RICregulated investment company
RRA90Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1990; PL 101-508
RRBRailroad Retirement Board
RTCResolution Trust Corporation
S-CorpS Corporation
SECSecurities and Exchange Commission
SEPPAASingle Employer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1986; title IX of PL 99-272
SEERseasonal energy efficiency ratio
SHGCSolar Heat Gain Coefficient
SICStandard Industrial Classification
SLStraight Line (depreciation method)
SMCRASurface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977; PL 95-87
SSSocial Security
SSASocial Security Act; PL 74-241
Social Security Administration
SSISocial Security income
SSNSocial Security number
Stat.Statutes at Large
SUBSupplemental Unemployment Benefit
SWDASolid Waste Disposal Act; PL 94-580
TAATrade Adjustment Assistance
TILATruth In Lending Act; title I of PL 90-321
TINtaxpayer identification number
TRAxxTax Reform Act of 19XX (TRA84 = Tax Reform Act of 1984, &c.)
TYtax(able) year
UGMAUniform Gifts to Minors Act
USUnited States of America
USAFUnited States Armed Forces
USCUnited States Code
USERRAUniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act; PL 103-353
USHAUnited States Housing Act of 1937; PL 75-412
USPSUnited States Postal Service
VAVeterans' Administration
Public Law listing
PL 63-43Federal Reserve Act of 1913
PL 63-203Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914
PL 63-212Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914
PL 65-91Trading With the Enemy Act of 1917
PL 66-280Federal Water Power Act of 1920
PL 68-580Act of March 3, 1925
PL 69-257Railway Labor Act of 1926
PL 71-361Tariff Act of 1930
PL 72-154Revenue Act of 1932
PL 72-304Federal Home Loan Bank Act
PL 73-22Securities Act of 1933
PL 73-30Act of June 6, 1933 (Wagner-Peyser Act)
PL 73-216Revenue Act of 1934
PL 73-291Securities Exchange Act of 1934
PL 73-467Federal Credit Union Act of 1934
PL 73-479National Housing Act of 1934
PL 74-46Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act
PL 74-198Act of July 5, 1935 (National Labor Relations Act)
PL 74-271Social Security Act of 1935
PL 74-333Public Utility Company Holding Act of 1935
Federal Power Act (title II)
PL 74-401Federal Alcohol Administration Act
PL 74-605Rural Electrification Act of 1936
PL 74-675Commodity Exchange Act of 1936
PL 74-835Merchant Marine Act, 1936
PL 75-210Act of July 22, 1937 (Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act)
PL 75-412United States Housing Act of 1937
PL 75-430Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938
PL 75-717Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
PL 75-718Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
PL 75-722Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act
PL 76-768Investment Company Act of 1940 (title I)
Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (title II)
PL 78-410Public Health Service Act
PL 79-264United Nations Participation Act of 1945
PL 79-291International Organization Immunities Act
PL 79-321Merchant Ship Sales Act of 1946
PL 79-396Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act of 1946
PL 79-733Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946
PL 80-101Labor Management Relations Act, 1947
PL 80-104Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act
PL 80-759Military Selective Service Act of 1948
PL 81-110Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949
PL 81-171Housing Act of 1949
PL 81-650Organic Act of Guam
PL 81-681Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act
PL 81-797Federal Deposit Insurance Act of 1950
PL 81-831Internal Security Act of 1950
PL 82-414Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952
PL 83-212Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
PL 83-358Act of May 13, 1954
PL 83-517Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands
PL 83-665Mutual Security Act of 1954
PL 84-159Air Pollution Control Act of 1955
PL 84-511Bank Holding Company Act of 1956
PL 84-885State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956
PL 85-699Small Business Investment Act of 1958
PL 86-707Overseas Differentials and Allowances Act
PL 87-256Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961
PL 87-293Peace Corps Act
PL 87-510Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962
PL 87-624Communications Satellite Act of 1962
PL 88-206Clean Air Act of 1963
PL 88-352Civil Rights Act of 1964
PL 88-525Food Stamp Act
PL 88-578Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965
PL 88-643Central Intelligence Agency Retirement Act
PL 89-10Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
PL 89-117Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965
PL 89-329Higher Education Act of 1965
PL 89-554Freedom of Information Act
PL 89-754Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966
PL 90-202Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
PL 90-209Act of December 18, 1967 (National Park Foundation Act)
PL 90-269Arms Export Control Act of 1968
PL 90-284Fair Housing Act
PL 90-321Consumer Credit Protection Act
PL 90-351Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968
PL 90-448National Flood Insurance Act of 1968
PL 90-618Gun Control Act of 1968
PL 91-173Black Lung Benefits Act (title IV)
PL 91-258Airway and Airport Develoment Act of 1970
PL 91-373Federal-State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970
PL 91-508Fair Credit Reporting Act
PL 91-513Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970
PL 91-559Water Bank Act
PL 91-572Public Service Health Act of 1970
PL 92-203Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971
PL 92-225The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971
PL 92-303Black Lung Benefits Act
PL 92-318Education Amendments of 1972
PL 92-500Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 (Clean Water Act)
PL 93-112Rehabilitation Act of 1973
PL 93-153Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act
PL 93-248Intervention on the High Seas Act
PL 93-262Indian Financing Act of 1974
PL 93-288Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act
PL 93-383Housing and Community Development Act of 1974
PL 93-406Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
PL 93-445Railroad Retirement Act of 1974
PL 93-618Trade Act of 1974
PL 93-627Deepwater Port Act of 1974
PL 93-638Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975
PL 94-12Tax Reduction Act of 1975
PL 94-265Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976
PL 94-353Airport and Airway Development Act Amendments of 1976
PL 94-455Tax Reform Act of 1976
PL 94-566Unemployment Compensation Amendments of 1976
PL 94-580Solid Waste Disposal Act
PL 95-30Tax Reduction and Simplification Act of 1977
PL 95-87Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977
PL 95-109Fair Debt Collection Practices Act of 1977
PL 95-164Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977
PL 95-213Unlawful Corporate Payments Act of 1977
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (title I)
PL 95-223International Emergency Economic Powers Act
PL 95-313Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978
PL 95-334Agricultural Credit Act of 1978
PL 95-348Act of August 18, 1978
PL 95-452Inspector General Act of 1978
PL 95-502Inland Waterways Revenue Act of 1978
PL 95-521Ethics in Government Act of 1978
PL 95-600Revenue Act of 1978
PL 95-608Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978
PL 95-617Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act of 1978
PL 95-621Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978
PL 95-630Financial Institutions Regulatory and Interest Rate Control Act of 1978
PL 96-72Export Adminstration Act of 1979
PL 96-193Aviation Safety and Noise Abatement Act of 1979
PL 96-364Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980
PL 96-465Foreign Service Act of 1980
PL 96-480Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980
PL 96-487Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980
PL 96-501Northwest Power Act
PL 96-510Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980
PL 97-248Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982
PL 97-293Reclamation Reform Act of 1982 (title II)
PL 97-300Job Training Partnership Act of 1982
PL 97-354Subchapter S Revision Act of 1982
PL 97-468Alaska Railroad Transfer Act of 1982
PL 97-470Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act
PL 97-473Indian Tribal Governmental Tax Status Act of 1982 (title II)
PL 98-67Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act
PL 98-369Tax Reform Act of 1984
PL 99-198Food Security Act of 1985
PL 99-272Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985
PL 99-335Federal Employees' Retirement System Act of 1986
PL 99-499Superfund Revenue Act of 1986
Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (title III)
PL 99-514Tax Reform Act of 1986
PL 99-660National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986
PL 99-662Water Resources Devleopment Act of 1986
PL 100-12National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987
PL 100-203Revenue Act of 1987 (title X)
PL 100-223Airport and Airway Safety and Capacity Expansion Act of 1987
PL 100-347Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988
PL 100-379Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act
PL 100-497Indian Gaming Regulatory Act
PL 101-336Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
PL 101-380Oil Pollution Act of 1990
PL 101-509Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1990
PL 101-510Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990
PL 101-646Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990
PL 102-166Civil Rights Act of 1991
PL 102-581Airport and Airway Safety, Capacity, Noise Improvement, and Intermodal Transportation Act of 1992
PL 103-3Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
PL 103-66Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1993
PL 103-260Airport Improvement Program Temporary Extension Act of 1994
PL 103-325Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act of 1994
Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994
PL 103-337National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1995
PL 103-353Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
PL 103-465Retirement Protection Act of 1994
PL 104-1Congressional Accountability Act of 1995
PL 104-191Health Care Portability and Accountability Act of 1996
PL 104-208Library Services and Technology Act
PL 104-210Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act
PL 105-2Airport and Airway Trust Fund Tax Reinstatement Act of 1997
PL 105-33Balanced Budget Act of 1997
PL 105-61Federal Employees' Retirement System Open Enrollment Act of 1997
PL 105-113Census of Agriculture Act of 1997
PL 105-178Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century
PL 105-206Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998
PL 105-216Homeowners Protection Act of 1998
PL 105-220Workforce Investment Act of 1998
PL 106-200Trade and Development Act of 2000
PL 106-554Community Renewal Tax Relief Act of 2000
PL 107-42Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act
PL 107-210Trade Act of 2002
PL 108-189Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
PL 108-357American Jobs Creation Act of 2004
PL 109-59The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users
PL 109-280Pension Protection Act of 2006
PL 110-343Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
Heartland Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2008
PL 111-5American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009
Health Insurance Assistance for the Unemployed Act of 2009 (division B, title III)
PL 111-68Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2010 (division B)
PL 111-147Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2010 (title IV)
PL 111-148Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
PL 111-192Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act of 2010
PL 111-226______Act of____
PL 111-312Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010
PL 112-5Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2011
PL 112-141Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)
PL 112-240American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012
Statutes At Large listing
38 Stat. 730Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914
48 Stat. 881Securities Exchange Act of 1934
64 Stat. 997Internal Security Act of 1950
64 Stat. 1280Reorganization Plan Numbered 26 of 1950
66 Stat. 823Reorganization Plan Numbered 1 of 1952
68 Stat. 612Federal National Mortgage Association Charter Act

One last but important rule to remember is that the OneLine Tax Code is not a total word-for-word 100% reproduction of Title 26 of the United States Code. I have written the document with the intent of providing something for simplified reference and as a way to have the essential parts of the entirety of 26 USC in a single document to facilitate locating any specific item and provide as much pertinent information as I can within the 80 character restriction for each line.

Rules and abbreviations. Table of Contents - 26 USC The OneLine Tax Code.
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