Wednesday, October 12, 2005
U.S. Internal Revenue Code (26USC) Online Edition UpdatedThe online, hyperlinked, and searchable edition of the United States Internal Revenue Code (Title 26 of the U.S. Code) has been updated to correspond to the January 19th, 2004 Supplement III to the 2000 edition of the printed U.S. Code. I prepared the original online edition in 1994 when, in the midst of a research project, I found it very useful to be able to click on cross-references to display the citation. The updated edition is now XHTML 1.0 compliant and uses a style sheet to improve the appearance of the multitudinous cross-links. The full text search facility works as before, and is now also XHTML 1.0 compatible. (Since the complete online Code consists of more than 4300 XHTML documents, validating them all with the W3C Validation Service would take almost forever and verge on a denial of service attack upon that noble and free resource. I have validated all documents with unique aspects and known trouble spots, and employed an automated pseudorandom "stratified sampling" approach to the rest. I'm pretty confident the entire document tree is clean, but if you find something I've missed, let me know with the Feedback form.) The Internal Revenue Code is arguably the most ambitious social engineering project ever attempted in human history, and without doubt one of the most counterproductive. History will regard it as a Great Pyramid scale monument to unintended consequences. Every provision added with the intent of creating an incentive to stimulate some desired activity results in both attempts to use it purely to escape taxation, and/or creates other unanticipated and possibly deleterious "industries" economically justified only by the tax incentive. This, in turn, causes additional provisions to be enacted, ad infinitum or asymptotically close. Here are some statistics for the 2004 edition of the Code.
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Posted at October 12, 2005 17:31