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AAII's Guide to Top Web Sites

Tax Information

Though the IRS encourages electronic filing and more taxpayers complete their taxes online, the complexity of tax law has not changed. This is why it is important to get both thorough and clear information. The sites we list typically offer explanations of general tax issues, tips on cutting taxes, tax planning tools and estimators, and overviews of recent tax law changes. (Tax preparation software and services are not covered. If a clear answer is not found or if your tax situation is complex, a consultation with a tax professional may be prudent.)

 Bankrate.com  

   www.bankrate.com
Free

Where to Find: Click on Financial Planning, then Taxes.
Provides articles on tax-related topics, tax calculators and several IRS forms and documents. Income tax bracket tables cover 2008 through 2013 tax years. State tax map details income, sales, property, estate and other tax rates. Articles cover a range of topics, including how to challenge real estate property taxes. Ads are noticeable, but not obtrusive.




 Financial Planning Toolkit (fee-based)  

   finance.toolkit.com
$24.99/yr.

Where to Find: Click on Tax Planning.
Provides extensive information on taxes and tax planning. Sponsor CCH Inc. is a major provider of up-to-date tax information and software for professionals. (We contact CCH when we need assistance with tax-related questions for AAII Journal articles.) Note that the site does not provide an extensive table of contents, but a search box is on the top of every page. The information is presented as straight text, with very few graphics or illustrations.




 H&R Block  

   www.hrblock.com
FREE

Where to Find: Click on Tax Calculators and Tips.
Site may seem underwhelming at first glance, but articles covering a wide variety of tax subjects, useful calculators (including one for 2014 health insurance tax credit eligibility) and other related tools are easily accessible. The articles are concise, but provide plenty of information. A tax blog that also covers personal finance topics is updated throughout the year. The Tax Estimator tool is surprisingly thorough for an online tool, though it cannot be used to file. Reminders for the company's premium services are noticeable, but not obtrusive.




 Internal Revenue Service  

   www.irs.gov
FREE
The official IRS website provides numerous explanations of almost every tax issue in the tax code. The downloadable publications, tax forms and instructions are valuable, particularly for less common tax issues. The official publications and rules for current-year tax filings usually start to appear on the site in late October (though they may have been delayed this year because of the government shutdown). You can search for articles or publications by specific tax topics, and you can search among various IRS resources including FAQs, forms and publications, and how to e-file. Once you have filed, you can check on the status of any refund owed by going to Where's My Refund?