Magazine article The CPA Journal

Twenty Questions about Tax Resources on the Internet

Magazine article The CPA Journal

Twenty Questions about Tax Resources on the Internet

Article excerpt

1. What resources for tax information exist on the Internet?

There are three basic sources of tax information on the Internet: subscription-based websites, online professional discussion groups, and specialty sites in taxation.

Fee-based tax research sites available to paid subscribers include the following:

* Bureau of National Affairs (www.bna.com)

* Commerce Clearing House (tax.cchgroup.com/default).

* Kleinrock (www.kleinrock.com/taxsuites/Index.aspx)

* Lexis/Nexis (www.lexis.com)

* Practitioner's Publishing Company (ppc.thomson.com/ sitecomposer2/)

* Research Institute of America (ria.thomson.com)

* Tax Analysts (www.taxanalysts.com)

* Westlaw (www.westlaw.com)

With the increasing popularity of the web, tax professionals have developed a forum for interaction, including the posting of questions and answers for peers to provide feedback and opinions. For example, Taxsites (taxsites.com) has a grid of topics for tax, accounting, and payroll issues. Another website, Accountants World (www.accountantsworld.com/default.aspx), is open to anyone, but only members may post questions.

Specialty sites in taxation featuring legislative and regulatory resources, both government-sponsored and proprietary, are discussed in the questions below.

2. What does the 1RS website offer?

The IRS's website (www.irs.gov) provides several resources. Any federal tax form (from 1992 onward) can be downloaded, with accompanying instructions, as well as the IRS's publications, Treasury Regulations, weekly Internal Revenue Bulletins (IRB), and the audit technique for various businesses. Users can use the 1RS Newsstand feature to subscribe to the 1RS Daily Digital e-mail newsletter. The 1RS Newsroom provides briefings and recommendations on tax-related topics. The IRS's website can also be searched from the U.S. government's official web portal (www.firstgov.gov), which allows access to other federal agencies' websites.

3. Where can the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations be found?

Recent amendments have expanded the IRC to almost 3 million words. The tax code site www.fourmilab.ch/ustax/ustax.html outlines the code sections in sequential order and has a word and phrase search feature. Title 26, the Internal Revenue Code, can also be found within the general legislative site (uscode.house.gov) or on the website straylight.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscod e26. Treasury Regulations can be searched on the GPO Access site (www.access.gpo. gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/26cfrvl_03.html).

There is an 1RS Index for the tax regulations (www.irs.gov/individuals/ article/0,,id=98137,00.html) and for the plain language regulations (www.irs.gov/ . taxpros/content/0,,id=103728,00.html).

4. Where can information on legislation, such as proposed tax bills in Congress, be found?

Tax-related legislative information pending in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate can be found at the House Ways and Means Committee (waysandmeans. house.gov), Senate Finance Committee (finance.senate.gov), and the Library of Congress' "Thomas" legislative portal (thomas.loc.gov). Because the two houses of Congress work independently, any differences in proposed legislation will be forwarded to the Joint Committee on Taxation (www.house.gov/jct/) for reconciliation. Recent legislative highlights can be found at tax.cchgroup.com/news/legislation/.

5. What sources offer access to 1RS administrative pronouncements?

Tax Links (www.taxlinks.com) contains links to published 1RS Revenue Rulings from 1954 through January 2003 and Revenue Procedures from 1995 on. There are also sites for private letter rulings (www.irs.gov/foia/lists/0,,id = 97705,OO.html) and Internal Revenue Bulletins (www.irs.gov/businesses/Iists/ 0,,id=98230,00.html). Other resources for pronouncements include www.legal bitstream.com and www.smbiz. …

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