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Being a Correlation of the Income, Estate and Gift Tax Provisions of the Internal
WALTER E. BARTON
Attorney and Counsellor at Law
TAX LAW PUBLISHING COMPANY
AUG 4 1950
PREFACE TO TENTH EDITION
The Second Edition, correlating the Income and Estate Tax Provisions of the Revenue Acts of 1913 to 1924, was published in January, 1925; the Eighth Edition, correlating the Income Tax Provisions of the Revenue Acts of 1926 to 1938 and the Estate Tax Provisions of the Revenue Acts of 1916 to 1926, as amended between 1926 and 1938, was published in November, 1938; and the Ninth Edition, correlating the Income, Estate, and Gift Tax Provisions of the Internal Revenue Code in effect during 1939 to 1943, was published in January, 1944.
Between 1913 and 1938, the period covered by the Second and Eighth Editions, there were fourteen different Revenue Acts—a new law for approximately each two years. During that period, Congress re-enacted the entire Income Tax Provisions in each Revenue Act, with the exception of the Revenue Acts of 1935 and 1937, which were merely amendatory. Likewise, the Estate Tax Provisions were re-enacted in their entirety in the Revenue Acts of 1916 to 1926. There were approximately 305 amendments of the Income and Estate Tax Provisions during this 26-year period. The re-enactment of the entire law about every two years rendered it comparatively easy for taxpayers to ascertain exactly what the law was during any given year.
Since the enactment of the Internal Revenue Code on February 10, 1939, however, Congress has pursued an entirely different policy. From 1939 to 1943, the five-year period covered by the Ninth Edition, there were 737 different amendments, an average of 147 each year, 577 being retroactive for periods ranging up to approximately four years. This same policy of amending the Code has continued during the subsequent years 1944 to 1949, the six-year period covered by the new Tenth Edition, as there have been 380 amendments since January 1, 1944, a large number of which are retroactive for several years.
Only a small number of the amendments since February 10, 1939 have been made by re-enacting the amended sections in their entirety. Most of them have been made by striking out language and inserting other language, the consequence of which has been that taxpayers were required to make the necessary eliminations and substitutions.
The result of so many amendments of the Code in such patchwork fashion has been to cause unnecessary confusion. This has been accentuated by the method employed by Congress in scattering the various amendments of a particular section of the Code throughout the entire amending act, instead of including all of them in one place. For instance, Section 22 was amended 22 times between February 10, 1939 and December 31, 1943. Eighteen of these amendments were made by