Magazine article The CPA Journal

Website of the Month: Sisterstates Tax Directory

Magazine article The CPA Journal

Website of the Month: Sisterstates Tax Directory

Article excerpt

Tax practitioners, accounting instructors, and taxpayers alike will find the SisterStates Tax Directory (www.sisterstates.com) to be an easy way to access state tax forms and related information. The website's motto "Your One-Stop Source for all State Tax Sites" is not an overstatement. This columnist extends thanks to the anonymous respondents who brought her attention to SisterStates (see "A Hard Look at Tax Software: 2003 Annual Survey of New York State Practitioners," November 2003).

SisterStates is a well-organized website with a simple, standardized format that is easy to navigate. SisterStates sticks to state tax links, using back-and-forth connections to a related website, Uncle Ped's Tax Board (www.unclefed.com), for U.S. tax forms and publications. Both websites are operated by National Tax Services, Inc., a commercial enterprise.

Although SisterStates does not provide any information that is not available elsewhere, it offers an easy to use way to access state tax forms and other information. As tax deadlines approach and stress levels increase, SisterStates presents an option for tax practitioners and taxpayers to locate state tax forms, as well as links to IRS tax forms and publications.

State Tax Links

The homepage features a center table with hyperlinks to the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Guam, New York City, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The subsidiary webpagcs have a standardized format with easy-to-follow subheadings and bullet points. Although the emphasis is on individual tax forms, connecting to business tax forms is easy. Each SisterStates subsidiary webpage provides an index with direct links back to the homepage and to each of the 56 localities' subsidiary webpages.

Using New York as an example, the SisterStates "NewYork" webpage has subheadings for current-year tax forms, prior-year tax forms, and miscellaneous links. "Current-year tax forms" provides bulleted hyperlinks for full-year resident returns and for all tax forms which connect directly with the specific web page on the New York website that connects to the actual tax forms and instructions. "Prior year tax forms" offers bulleted links that connect to the precise web page needed on the New York State website. "Miscellaneous links" provides connections to the e-file/e-pay, frequently asked questions, and up-to-date information (i. …

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