Magazine article The CPA Journal

Website of the Month: MarketWatch Tax Guide

Magazine article The CPA Journal

Website of the Month: MarketWatch Tax Guide

Article excerpt

MarketWatch.com is a commercial website that provides business news and financial information for consumers, with a similar objective to other investment-related websites reviewed by this column. MarketWatch's Tax Guide is located at www.marketwatch .com/pf/taxes and available from www .marketwatch.com, under 'Taxes" on the "Personal Finance" menu tab. Both are updated regularly.

Although MarketWatch's Tax Guide is consumer-oriented, much of the information is fairly sophisticated and should prove useful to tax professionals with general individual tax practices. While other consumer tax-related websites provide a variety of tools, the Tax Guide confines its offerings to a newsarticle format. Most of the articles are written by MarketWatch staff columnists, but some articles are linked from external websites. Materials on the Tax Guide are free, although registration and signup is required to receive e-newsletters and post or respond to discussion group questions.

Navigation of the Tax Guide is fairly simple, as the main horizontal menu bar is mainly for the parent website. The pulldown menu under the banner headline includes links to Home, News & Commentary, Markets, Mutual Funds & ETFs, Personal Finance, Tools & Research, and My MarketWatch. The easiest way to navigate the Tax Guide is to use the browser's back button, or the Taxes option under the Personal Finance tab to return to the Tax Guide homepage.

Users can also take advantage of the site index on the parent MarketWatch website to access the Tax Guide and its main features. The site index is located in a small hyperlink at the bottom of all main pages. It is also available under the "More Features" hyperlink on the left side of the Tax Guide homepage.

The main features of the Tax Guide are the homepage Tax Guide newsletter, the Tax Library, the Taxing Times weekly tax stories, Tax Tips, and the tax area of the Discussion Groups. The site offers hyperlinks to print or e-mail each article. Many article pages also provide embedded links to external websites, as well as links to blog posts and other articles that may be related.

Tax Guide Newsletter

The articles on the homepage newsletter change frequently, as expected. Recent articles indicate a level of technical sophistication that may be attractive to tax practitioners. The stories focus on high-income individuals, but all current events may be covered.

In December 2006, the Tax Guide was the first source noted by this reviewer to report that several expiring tax provisions were indeed extended-after the 2006 tax forms had been finalized, of course. …

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