Just in Time for April 15: Federal Tax Research


Since 1913, CCH has been providing information on tax, accounting, and auditing. Intelliconnect (formerly CCH Internet Tax Research Network) is a primary resource for finding information about the tax code, regulations, case law, and more. The amount of content available is overwhelming, which can make searching for specific tax information difficult. In this post, we show you the mechanics of searching Intelliconnect and how to quickly and easily parse out federal tax information.

You can search across the entire CCH Library using the search box or within specific publications for a more targeted search. A good starting point for federal tax information is in Tax Research Consultant and Standard Federal Tax Reporter. Both publications are written by experts at CCH. The explanations use plain language to make the tax code easier to understand while also providing links to the primary sources.

  • Tax Research Consultant – explanations include practical examples, sample calculations, comments and more. Useful for researching how to solve common tax problems. Content is arranged topically.
  • Standard Federal Income Tax Reporter is arranged to coincide with the federal income tax code. Includes links to full-text IRS documents (e.g. regulations, cases, etc.), where applicable.

tax research consultantLet’s try a sample search. Let’s say you are searching for hobby loss deductions. Begin by expanding Federal Tax => Federal Tax Editorial Content and selecting Tax Research Consultant and Standard Federal Tax Reporter. Once these two publications are selected, search for the terms hobby loss deduction in the search box. The drop-down box will automatically change to search within the “Selected Content.” This means you will only be searching within those two publications, rather than the entire CCH library.

The results are arranged by category with “Explanations” at the top.  Results are sorted by relevancy, with the three most relevant results displayed for each category. Start by reading the explanations, which are the plain language summaries written by CCH experts.

CCH provides several tools that make filtering through the content much simpler.

Navigation Tool Bar2

  1. In Results – Use the Up/Down arrow to quickly view the next or previous documents in your search results list.
  2. Read Previous Document/Read Next Document – After performing a search and opening a document, you can quickly access the nearby documents in that publication (i.e. documents that come before and after the document you currently have open).
  3. Document Path – Shows where the document you have selected falls in the hierarchy.
  4. Send to Tray – Documents you send to tray will remain there until you leave the system. This is a temporary parking spot that is purged when you logout or exit.
  5. Save/Email & Print – Every document can be saved as PDF/HTML or printed.

hobby losses1A way to further narrow your results is to locate either topically or by section where the results are coming from. From the left-hand menu, when you are viewing the results of a search, expand by Library => Federal Tax => Federal Tax Editorial Content. Then expand both the Tax Research Consultant and Standard Federal Income Tax Reporter to view results by topic/section. In this case, most of our results are coming from Deductions –Secs. 161-249 within the Standard Federal Tax Reporter. If you further expand Deductions we will find that most results come from Hobby Losses – Sec. 183. This may be where you want to start your research. Select Hobby Losses – Sec. 183 to view only the 91 related results.

Finding federal tax information is only one aspect of research using Intelliconnect. Take a look at the variety of subjects that Intelliconnect covers in our Business FAQs. For more resources for tax information take a look at our Accounting Research Guide and our Business FAQ “Where do I find information on taxation?“.

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