Here are some government sites, plus a few others I like:

IRS' home page. Browse and/or download forms and publications, instructions, new laws and regulations, FAQs, press releases, business news and tools, and much more. CA FTB, the same for CA.

AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) affects most of my clients. National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson explains AMT very well to Congress. If I were given the opportunity to make just one change to the Internal Revenue Code, I would use it to eliminate the AMT. The Taxpayer Advocate's 2006 report identifies the IRS' two biggest problems: the stealth AMT, and general underreporting, known as the tax gap. Learn about AMT Reform from a grass roots Silicon Valley group.

Section 529 Tuition Trusts are gold, in the right circumstances. Earnings are totally tax free, if a qualifying beneficiary uses the Trust for qualifying education. Joe Hurley CPA's SavingForCollege offers unbiased advice, along with books and consulting services about these Trusts. A little more bureaucratic is the College Savings Plans Network, an affiliate of the National Association of State Treasurers. California's ScholarShare flogs itself, and offers basic advice. But see the National Asociation of Securities Dealers' (NASD's) investor alert regarding high fees and high brokerage commissions, which can induce your broker to suggest a poor investment choice.

IRS partners with commercial tax preparers to offer free online tax preparation and efiling. Congress ordered IRS to expand efiling substantially, and 60% of the simplest returns now qualify. But problems abound. Low income taxpayers are less likely to have the fast internet access which makes online services as this useable. IRS' web site is difficult to use, and you have to start there to get the free tax preparation. The commercial firms make the free service much harder to use than their paid services, and they push their other paid services such as very expensive refund anticipation loans.

US Congress' home page. Get text of laws, bills, committee reports, and more. Link to legislators and other US government sites. CA Legislature's home page offers similar info for CA.

Here are some professional tax sites that have some free pages:

California Society of CPAs

Spidell CA taxes

National Association of Enrolled Agents

U Michigan's Office of Tax Policy Research, very academic.

CA Society of Enrolled Agents

 

Tax Analysts today's tax news, tax history, tax quotations, and tax features.

Syracuse U's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse's independent analysis of IRS enforcement efforts.

Scams, cons, and frauds, abound. Here are some great sites:

US Treasury (IRS' parent agency)

Quatloos, an educational charity.

National Association of Securities Dealers' investor alerts, investor protection, and investor education.

IRS abusive tax schemes, including tax fraud alerts, and tax preparer fraud.

There are fewer and fewer free and minimally commercial tax and finance sites, including:

Schmidt's Tax & Accounting Site Directory bills itself as a comprehensive index of web-based tax and accounting resources, a starting point for people who are searching for tax and accounting information, products, and services.

Consumer Federation of America's credit counseling page, including a credit score brochure. CFA helps consumers in banking, insurance, and much more.

Tax History Project is Tax Analysts' free compendeum on tax policy, including analyses of current and historical tax policy, and many original documents, such as the Federalist Papers and President's income tax returns.

Buyer beware of these commercial sites, which we do not endorse or recommend. Happy surfing.

Thomas Esq's Fairmark Press

IRA advice by a witer and lecturer, Ed Slott.

Microsoft's MoneyCentral Tax pages

Bloomberg's Tax Guide

FinanCenter's many consumer calculators, educators, and planning tools

Salary Relocation Calculator

Foreign Currency Converter

Incorporate in any State

Bankrate.com's tax page. Also see the credit score estimator, and much more.

Motley Fool, an internet legend.

FinancialEngines Subscribe for automated personal financial planning.

Essential Links' tax sites.

Unger Law's Myth of Incorporating In Nevada. This attorney also offers online legal services.

Mortgage Calculators

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William M West Certified Public Accountant
1905 Park Avenue, Suite 100
San Jose, CA 95126
408.554.0400
Email: taxconsultant

Last Updated 5/29/05
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