of the Month:
Susan B. Anders
2007 - TaxAlmanac,
www.taxalmanac.org, is a free online resource sponsored
by Intuit. The website is designed as a professional community
where users post questions and responses, contribute to articles,
and access research materials.
Similar to Wikipedia, a
free online encyclopedia written by volunteers, TaxAlmanac
is maintained by a small staff and user-volunteers. Registration
is required to post questions in discussion forums and to
author or edit articles. The website is most useful for
professionals who want quick access to the IRC or Treasury
Regulations, who are stumped by a practice question, or
who want to share their expertise.
well-organized homepage presents a detailed snapshot of
the resources available and also serves as an anchor for
navigation. The title banner links to the Tax Research Library
and Discussion Forums. A horizontal menu bar on the home
and main pages provides links to more specific categories.
The left side of the home and main pages is dedicated to
three indices. The navigation index presents links to selected
features. The toolbox index provides links for user editing
functions, including a “printable version” hyperlink.
The Discussion Forums index is organized by topic and type
good place to begin exploring is the hyperlinks under the
TaxAlmanac title on the homepage: Overview, Quick Start
Guide, A–Z Index, Explore, and Help. Overview provides
background on the site. Quick Start Guide walks the user
through creating an account and posting to the website.
The A–Z Index provides separate topical indices for
articles and discussions. Explore guides users on how to
search the site and contribute articles. Help provides a
table of contents on how to use the website.
Forums can be readily accessed from the title banner of
the homepage, and the hyperlink on the Navigation index.
Recent discussions are also featured on the homepage. Discussion
categories include Tax Questions, Accounting Questions,
Tax Tips, and All Topics. Users can read discussion threads
logging in, but must register and log in to participate.
are the most extensive resource on the website. The major
approaches for accessing articles include the horizontal
category menu on the home and main pages, the A–Z
Index in the title banner, and the search function. The
homepage presents a featured article and links to recent
and older articles.
offerings are extensive. A useful example from the main
menu bar includes What’s New, which summarizes tax
law changes for the current year. Another example is the
State category, which includes a listing of registered users
from each state. Forms & Publications presents an extensive
listing of IRS publications. For each main category, the
articles are further organized by subcategory and then alphabetically,
making it easy to skim through the offerings.
important feature of this website is the Tax Research Library,
containing free online versions of the IRC and Treasury
Regulations. A good overview of the offerings is on the
homepage link for the Tax Research Library. Content is grouped
into Statutory Authority, Administrative Authority, Judicial
tations, Editorial & Other Information, State Tax Re-
sources, and Books & Other Tax Research Resources. Many
materials are directly on the website, and links are provided
Authority provides the IRC, Income Tax Treaties, and Public
Laws. For each code section, the original source law and
amendment history are provided, as well as cross-references
to other code sections. Complete texts of U.S. tax treaties
with 45 countries are primarily in PDF format. Public laws
are available as an external link.
Regulations, under Adminis-trative Authority, are accessible
by the same drill-down procedure as the IRC. Other Administrative
Authority resources include Internal Revenue Bulletins back
to July 2003 and Revenue Rulings back to 1954. Editorial
& Other Information provides articles organized by the
main horizontal menu bar categories. Additionally, there
are links for IRS Forms, IRS Publications, and other materials.
B. Anders, PhD, CPA, is an associate professor of
accounting at St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure,