Dr. Thomas C. Atkeson, 82, a former Treasury Department official and professor emeritus of taxation at the College of William and Mary's law school died of renal failure Sunday in a Williamsburg, Va., hospital.

He taught courses on taxes at the law school for 14 years before retiring. He also served as chairman of the college's social sciences division from 1959 to 1962.

Dr. Atkeson was a member of the Virginia State Revenue Resources and Study Commission from 1968 to 1970.

He joined the old Bureau of Internal Revenue in 1945 as a research and statistical assistant to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. A year later, he was named director of the management staff, then served as an assistant commissioner of Internal Revenue for two year's before joining the law school faculty in 1954.

He received the Treasury Department's Exceptional Civilian Service Award in 1954.

Dr. Atkeson was a native of Columbia, Ala. He earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees at Georgetown University. He taught accounting and business administration at Georgetown University before joining Internal Revenue.

He was a member of the Cosmos Club and a fellow of the American Statistical Association.

His wife, the former Helen D. Whiting, died in 1977.

Survivors include a daughter, Helen Phillips, of Wilmington, Del.; a brother, retired Navy Rear Adm. John C. Atkeson, of Norfolk; four sisters, Virginia Brown, of Birmingham, Ala., Annie May Morriss of Wetumpka, Ala., Bessie C. Atkeson, of New York City, and Mary Conner Peterson, of Bergenfield, N.J., and two grandchildren.