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The Internal Revenue Code, approved February 10, 1939, and published in this volume as Public Act No. 1 of the Seventy-sixth Congress, is the first Federal act of its kind since the Revised Statutes of the United States, approved June 22, 1874. Title XXXV of the Revised Statutes embraces the general and permanent statutes relating exclusively to internal revenue, in force on December 1, 1873.
The internal revenue title, which comprises all of the Code except the preliminary sections relating to its enactment, is intended to contain all the United States statutes of a general and permanent nature relating exclusively to internal revenue, in force on January 2, 1939; also such of the temporary statutes of that description as relate to taxes the occasion of which may arise after the enactment of the Code. These statutes are codified without substantive change and with only such change of form as is required by arrangement and consolidation. The title contains no provision, except for effective date, not derived from a law approved prior to January 3, 1939.
The derivation of the title, in its textual sequence, is shown in the appendix, part I, table A. Conversely, the placement of the statutes in the title, cited in their chronological order, is shown in table B. The Revised Statutes of the United States and the Statutes at Large of the United States are the sources of the law codified. The Revised Statutes cover the period ended December 1, 1873. The Statutes at Large codified cover the period following December 1, 1873, and are published in the 35 volumes numbered 18 to 52, inclusive. The separate enactments carried into the internal revenue title, wholly or in part, from the Statutes at Large are 143 in number, exclusive of 93 statutes involving express amendment, reenactment, or repeal. The 277 Revised Statutes sections codified were derived from 21 basic statutes. The whole body of internal revenue law in effect on January 2, 1939, therefore, has its ultimate origin in 164 separate enactments of Congress. The earliest of these was approved July 1, 1862; the latest, June 16, 1938.
The Internal Revenue Code is an enactment without change of the 1939 edition of the Codification of Internal Revenue Laws prepared by Mr. Colin F. Stam and Mr. L. L. Stratton, of the staff of the Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation, with the assistance of the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Justice. The bill embodying that codification, H. R. 2762, was introduced on January 18, 1939, by Mr. Doughton, of North Carolina, chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation. Mr. Doughton submitted the unanimously favorable report of the Committee on Ways and Means on January 20. Unanimous consent for consideration of the bill was requested and objected to on January 23. It was called up on the following Calendar Wednesday, January 25, and passed on that date by a vote of 350 to 16. On January 27, the bill was messaged to the Senate and referred to the Committee on Finance, before whom a hearing was held on the 30th. At the direction of Mr. Harrison, of Mississippi, chairman of the Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation and of the Committee
on Finance, Mr. George, of Georgia, a member of both committees, submitted the unanimously favorable report of the Committee on Finance on February 1. The bill was considered by the Senate on the following day and passed without a record vote.
The 1939 codification was the fourth to be published by the staff of the Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation. The first, published in 1930, embraced the general and permanent internal revenue laws in force on December 1, 1930; the second, published in 1933, the laws in force on July 16, 1932; and the third, published in 1938, the laws in force at the beginning of that year. In the preparation of these codifications, invaluable
assistance was received from the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Justice, and the Legislative Reference Service of the Library of Congress. To the Division of Research and Publication of the Department of State grateful acknowledgment is made of the index to this volume and of their expert aid in the revision of the proof of the appendix.
The appendix, published under the provisions of section 9 of the Internal Revenue Code, is divided into four parts. Part I consists of tables of reference to internal revenue statutes. Tables A and B have been described above. Table C cites the statutes expressly repealed, in whole or in part, together with the repealing statutes. Table D cites the statutes expressly amended or reenacted, with the amending or reenacting statutes. The derivation of the sections of the Revised Statutes relating to internal revenue is shown in table E. Mr. W. H. McClenon, of the Legislative Reference Service of the Library of Congress, rendered indispensable aid in the preparation of these tables, as well as of the Code generally.
Part II of the appendix contains the provisions of the Constitution of the United States relating to taxation.
Part III of the appendix, prepared by the Department of the Treasury, contains miscellaneous statutory and treaty provisions affecting the administration of internal revenue laws but omitted from the Code for the reason that they are of a temporary nature or do not relate exclusively to internal revenue.
Part IV of the appendix digests several court opinions construing the repeal provisions of the Revised Statutes. The similarity of the repeal provisions of the Revised Statutes and those of the Code suggests the possible applicability of these decisions to questions that may arise affecting the Code.
The original of every act and joint resolution printed in this volume has the following heading:
SEVENTY-SIXTH CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA;
AT THE FIRST SESSION
day of January, one thousand nine hundred and thirty-nine
All bills and joint resolutions presented to the President of the United States bear the signatures of the Speaker (or of the Speaker pro tempore) of the House of Representatives and of the Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate (or of the President of the Senate pro tempore); those signatures accordingly appear on the originals of all acts and joint resolutions.
The signature of the President of the United States appears on the originals of all approved acts and joint resolutions.
The original of every act and joint resolution has endorsed thereon a certificate of origin, signed, as the case may be, by the Clerk of the House of Representatives or by the Secretary of the Senate and reading "I certify that this Act (or Joint Resolution) originated in the House of Representatives (or Senate)." The origin of the act contained in this part of the volume, as indicated by “H. R. 2762" in the headnote on page 1, was in the House of Representatives.