The author explains that in recent court opinions and commentaries concerning whether punitive damages are taxable, considerable weight has been given to a negative inference that appears to lurk in a 1989 amendment to the relevant code provision, section 104(a)(2). To the contrary, he argues, the legislative history of that amendment and the form that the bill had when it was reported out of the Conference Committee establish beyond doubt that no such inference is warranted.
Kahn, Douglas A. "Taxation of Punitive Damages Obtained in a Personal Injury Claim." Tax Notes 65, no. 4 (1994): 487-90.