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January 9, 2012
40 Years: Bergin Commemorates Tax Notes' 40th Anniversary

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By Christopher Bergin

Christopher Bergin is the president and publisher of Tax Analysts and a former editor of Tax Notes magazine.

Happy New Year! 2012 looks to be an important year for tax policy and administration. It is also significant for Tax Analysts because it marks the 40th anniversary of Tax Notes.

This remarkable magazine was first published in 1972 as a little newsletter with color-coded paper. And from the start, it grew. It changed the course of Tax Analysts, a small nonprofit organization founded about two years earlier. It changed the way the tax community communicated. It changed the way tax news, commentary, and analysis was presented. It changed how tax policy was debated by providing a new and exciting nonpartisan forum where all good ideas are welcome. It changed many things.

Tax Notes itself certainly has evolved -- from that small newsletter to the journal of record for taxation, and then, as Tax Analysts became the pioneer in publishing tax information electronically, to the magazine we all know today. It's still published every Monday. Along the way, it gave birth to two other exceptional weekly publications: State Tax Notes and Tax Notes International.

I've been around Tax Notes for so long that it's become a significant part of me. When I was a young editor in the 1980s, a mentor counseled me to read it, which I did, religiously. I thought the publication was genius. After joining Tax Analysts in the 1990s, I had the privilege to be named editor of Tax Notes. I soon found out just how many people love this publication like I do. In 2002 I became president and publisher of Tax Analysts, and while I no longer edit Tax Notes, I still read it, religiously.

I think Tax Notes is a remarkable publication for three basic reasons:

    1. Its readers. From the very beginning, readers have been asked for their comments and suggestions to help the magazine grow. The relationship between this publication and those who support it has been a special one. Tax Notes is in large part shaped by its readers, who contribute to the contents of its pages. Reading the letters to the editor over the years shows that we sometimes irritate our readers. Other times, we delight them. But I can tell you one thing with certainty: We never take them for granted.

    2. The staff. From the first staff of Tax Notes to the current group, the publication of this magazine has been and always will be a labor of love in which we take great pride. As Tax Notes grew over the years, so did Tax Analysts and so did its staff. I have never worked with more dedicated or finer people. They are quite simply the best in the business.

    3. Tom Field. When I came to Tax Analysts in 1991, I thought I was in a professional transition. I didn't plan to stay long. Then I met Tom Field, the founder of Tax Analysts. If you understand what Tom created, you want to be a part of it -- it's that simple. Tom strongly believes in serving his country, and he taught his staff that he founded Tax Analysts for that purpose. He was the first editor of Tax Notes.

So how will we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Tax Notes? The editors have decided that starting with this issue, they will republish select archived articles from each of the past 40 years. Now, I'm a big fan of that idea. But just between you and me, I'm glad I'm not the one doing the selecting. It's a daunting task, to say the least. Even a casual glance through the first 40 years' worth of the magazine provides a spectacular view. From President Nixon's tax returns to tax reform and everything in between, Tax Notes has always been on the cutting edge of all things tax. The best and the brightest in tax policy have written for this magazine. And it's amazing how this vast archive of tax information is still pertinent to the issues we are facing today.

The editors are seeking suggestions from you, our loyal and greatly appreciated readers on articles for republication. Please send your suggestions to

As you can tell, Tax Notes is pretty important to me. I would like to hear what it means to you. Please feel free to write me at

Happy 40th!

About Tax Analysts

Tax Analysts is an influential provider of tax news and analysis for the global community. Over 150,000 tax professionals in law and accounting firms, corporations, and government agencies rely on Tax Analysts' federal, state, and international content daily. Key products include Tax Notes, Tax Notes Today, State Tax Notes, State Tax Today, Tax Notes International, and Worldwide Tax Daily. Founded in 1970 as a nonprofit organization, Tax Analysts has the industry's largest tax-dedicated correspondent staff, with more than 250 domestic and international correspondents. For more information, visit our home page.

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