Website of the Month: FindLaw's Tax Law Guide
Anders, Susan B., The CPA Journal
FindLaw, the popular legal website, offers specialized guides in over 40 practice areas, including tax law. The FindLaw Tax Law guide can be accessed directly at www.findlaw.com/01topics/35tax/index.html, or by going to www.findlaw.com and selecting the "For Legal Professionals" page, then selecting "practice areas," and, finally, "tax law."
The FindLaw Tax Law guide is presented in an eclectic table-of-contents format. Over the years, materials and advertisements have proliferated. Some advertisements are inserted within the listings of resources, which distracts from the search process. The excellent features, however, are worth the time it takes to locate them.
Navigation on the website is not well developed; some connections lead to other FindLaw webpages, and the only direct way back to the Tax Law guide is through the back button. The menu bars are for the main FindLaw website and do not assist with locating resources on the Tax Law guide. The main categories of materials can be accessed via hyperlinks on the Tax Law homepage. Some external links were not working during this review.
The major groupings on the main Tax Law page are "FindLaw resources," "tax law web guide," "related FindLaw guide pages," and "news & analysis." The resources include links to newsletters, a tax library, a corporate counsel center, and message boards. The web guide offers connections to government agencies, law and government documents, and discussion groups, among others. Some of the major resources for tax accountants can be reached by multiple routes.
An excellent resource that may be overlooked by tax accountants is the "corporate counsel center." This center provides several tools that may be of interest to tax practitioners, including searches of FindLaw summaries of federal, California, and New York court opinions, and searches of the U.S. Code. Under "government resources," users can find links to the Multistate Tax Commission, the U.S. Tax Court, the Streamlined Sales Tax Project, and the Department of the Treasury Office of Tax Policy, among others. …