Website of the Month: Small Business Taxes & Management

By Susan B. Anders

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FEBRUARY 2006 - The Small Business Taxes & Management website, www.smbiz.com, describes itself as “providing tax and management guidance” for the owners of small to mid-sized businesses, which might lead accountants to assume that the available resources are fairly basic. This unassuming website from A/N Group, Inc., however, is an incredible resource for tax practitioners, educators, and students.

The design of the website is plain and gives no hint of the large number of outstanding tax materials. New users willing to spend time with this website will be pleased with their discoveries. All information is free, with no registration required. A few tax-related advertisements appear, but users are not inundated with pop-ups.

The homepage is in a table-of-contents format. Individual topics are presented as hyperlinks under the headings and are generally listed in the order posted rather than any particular topical sequence. Some topics appear under multiple headings, but most are listed once. Many resources are in HTML format, but some PDF documents are provided, as well as links to the IRS website and extensive links to other websites for small business–related information. One of the best resources for the general user is an extensive and comprehensive listing of links to approximately 200 websites of interest to both individuals and business owners.

The table-of-contents homepage is the main organizational tool. Connections to external websites open in the same window. At the time of this review, all of the tested links were working and the materials were remarkably up to date.

Most of the resources have been created by A/N Group, Inc., and are not merely links to other sites. While the website creators state that the information is for business owners, much of the material is quite technical.

Tax News and Current Events

The first heading on the homepage is “daily update,” which is indeed updated each weekday. The topic “news and tip of the day” offers tax news for the past several weeks. Perhaps the best features in this area are links to the IRS website to retrieve Internal Revenue Bulletins, news releases, and written determinations, and a connection to the U.S. Tax Court website. The daily update also includes federal tax and comprehensive state tax “to-do lists” for the current month.

Special reports provide several current topical discussions. For example, at the time of this review, two reports addressed vehicle donations, and fairly comprehensive reports covered year-end planning for businesses as well as for individuals. “Recent legislation” presents summaries of tax acts.

Handy Tax-Practice Resources

IRC section 179 expense limits, federal depreciation tables, IRS interest rates, and other resources are located under “other recent additions/updates” and “reference section.” Recent and historic corporate tax rates, individual tax rates, individual standard deduction and personal exemption amounts, and per diem amounts are also under the reference section. Direct links to several IRS webpages geared toward business owners and their tax advisors are presented under “IRS quick links.”

The reference section also provides several excellent materials. “State sites” provides links to the taxing authority, the secretary of state, and the CPA societies for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. “Special forms” offers some sample forms created by A/N Group, Inc., such as S corporation and partnership owner basis worksheets and an
election to forgo a net operating loss carryback.


Susan B. Anders, PhD, CPA, is an associate professor of accounting at St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, N.Y.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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