Website of the Month: Legalbitstream

Article excerpt

Legalbitstream (www.legalbitstream. com) is a free website that offers access to tax cases, 1RS Revenue Rulings and similar pronouncements, the Internal Revenue Code, and Treasury Regulations. No registration or membership is required, and the site is supported by extensive advertising. The website is targeted at professional accountants and attorneys, but should also be of interest to tax educators and students.

Legalbitstream is a useful tool for an occasional user, as a place to begin research, for a tax professional who wants to check "one more source," and for students preparing assignments under an instructor's guidance or practicing searches for the CPA exam. Although most would not find its content sufficient as their sole research instrument, the website performs admirably with the resources that it does offer.

Legalbitstream clearly presents ils main resources. The center of the homepage contains hyperlinks to articles covering tax, U.S. national, international business, and international sports news. The top horizontal menu bar appears on all main pages and provides links to information about the site, as well as a link back to the homepage.

The most important navigation tool is the left-side vertical menu bar that appears on all main pages. The major resources appear as hyperlinks under two categories, Tax case Law and IRS Materials. Legalbitstream provides a database to search these features within the website. A third category, Legislation Links, offers connections to resources on other websites.

Tax Case Law

Legalbitstream offers a database of federal income and estate tax-related court cases covering 1990 to the present, for the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Circuit and District Courts, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and others as well. The Tax Court summary opinions are available from 2001 to the present. The Legalbitstream database does not contain many unpublished opinions.

A user can search all court cases or select a specific court database. …