On the Internet: Tax Info Sites
by CI Staff
Tews is available on the Internet in many different formats, from tickers and headlines to in-depth news reports. Here we focus your attention on some of the top financial news Web sites available today.
Internal Revenue Service
Visitors can download publications and forms including articles on tax issues, general information, particular services, and new regulations from the IRS Web site. Form 1040, the individual tax return, and Publication 17, which discusses federal income taxes, are two of the forms and publications that can be downloaded as PDF files.
Users can also browse through the FAQ section that answers questions in 17 major categories, ranging from itemized deductions to child care credits, and then further breaks them down into sub-categories that explore issues in greater detail. You can browse for FAQs by broad categories, sub-categories, or by keyword. Most answers provide links to publications and forms related to the question.
The Individuals section of the Web site provides a wide range of information geared toward individual tax filers. There are links to information on the IRS electronic return filing program and companies offering free tax preparation services, information on how to file for an extension, warnings on abusive tax shelters and scams, as well as directions for filing an individual tax return. There is also a withholding calculator that helps you figure out whether your employer is withholding enough from your pay. For those with special filing status, such as farmers, foreign nationals, overseas taxpayers, retirees, students, and the self-employed, there are sections devoted to providing information, publications, and forms related to your status.
Users can also browse links at the Web site to other sites offering electronic filing options best suited for their particular needs. Such sites employ PDF file format to make forms and articles available for download.
At the Newsroom, you will find the latest from the IRS as well as an archive of IRS news releases and fact sheets. There is also a link to a collection of IRS tax tips, with new tips added every day. Other information in the Newsroom includes an overview of the IRS, links to tax-related news and information on a state-by-state basis, as well as updates on known tax schemes.
Finally, the IRS Web site offers the capability of searching the entire site for a particular topic, form or publication.
State Tax Forms
Federation of Tax Administrators (FTA)
The FTA Web site provides links to state income tax forms in the PDF file format. There are also listings of state tax rates and structures for income, sales, and excise taxes, as well as links to 28 states offering direct tax return filing via the Internet.
Sister States Tax Directory
Visitors to this Web site will find links to tax forms and information for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, New York City, and U.S. territories. A directory of tax professionals broken down by state is also provided.
Commercial Tax Sites
The 1040.com Web site provides resources for both tax preparers and taxpayers. Tax preparers can create a Web site to promote their income tax services, allow visitors to enter their Web site to file their tax returns electronically, and link to the latest tax news and tax preparation sites. Taxpayers can find addresses for mailing tax returns, read information on filing returns, and access state and federal tax forms. Links to general tax information are also available.
H&R Block offers multiple ways to prepare your taxes: independently via the Web site, with the help of an H&R Block tax professional through the Web or at an H&R Block office, or using their TaxCut software. Beyond this, you can also learn about recent tax law changes, read the latest headlines dealing with both personal and corporate taxes, get tax forms, receive tax tips, access state tax information, and see how major life events can impact your tax situation. With the sites tax outlook calculator, you can see how the latest federal legislation will impact your taxes for the next 10 years.
This site offers solutions to common tax problems such as forgiveness of tax debt, surviving an audit, tax collection problems, and lowering your taxes. The Ask the Expert section is devoted to answering questions regarding tax collection problems.
Intuits Quicken.com site offers a large selection of tax tools, tips, and information. Visitors can use Quickens TurboTax for the Web to prepare and file both state and federal income tax returns. This fee-based service walks you step-by-step through the preparation and filing process, with state returns beginning at $14.95 and federal returns at $19.95. A large collection of free on-line tools helps you estimate your taxes, calculate your paycheck withholdings and deductions, and deal with the tax implications of investing. The site offers tax tips and information regarding return preparation, tax planning strategies, common tax errors, and state taxes.
CNBC at MSN Money
CNBC at MSN Moneys partnership with H&R Block provides visitors to this Web site information on a variety of tax-related topics. Visitors can link directly to H&R Blocks tax preparation and filing service, locate and download IRS forms and publications, and download H&R Blocks TaxCut software. There are also links to recent tax law changes, tools to estimate your tax deduction and the amount of tax you owe, and a quick search area where you can search for specific topics. Guides walk you through the tax preparation process and suggest ways to reduce your taxes.
Yahoo! Tax Center
The Yahoo! Tax Center provides state and federal tax forms, a refund estimator, tax calculators, tax tips, a tax glossary, a tax calendar, a state tax profile, and a tax preparation checklist. The tax guide for investors provides articles covering tax-related topics such as the tax consequences of stock grants and incentive stock options, a guide to Roth IRAs, and discussions on capital gains and losses and the differences between traders and investors. The site also provides tax message boards and links to Yahoo! tax tools. There is also a link to an electronic tax payment service.