* Top 10 Tax Web Sites

With springtime approaching, our thoughts turn to love, baseball, and taxes.

By Erik J. Heels

First published 3/2/1997; Martindale.com “Legal Links”; publisher: Martindale-Hubbell

With springtime approaching, our thoughts turn to love, baseball, and taxes. Here’s a list of Web sites for the least interesting of those three pursuits. Enjoy, and see you on the Net!

1. Internal Revenue Service. Your tax dollars at work. Love it or hate it, this site is perhaps the best government Web site. Forms, instructions, it’s all here. I got a kick out of the message that was displayed when I visited this site in early March: “Due to unusually high traffic volumes, we are rerouting all users through our Text Only Version.” Unusually high traffic in March? Gee, why is that? (http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/)

2. The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. Otherwise known as the hey-we’re-a-company-not-a-government-agency Web site. OK, so The Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) isn’t the best name in the world, but BNA’s site is has a very nice content strategy. BNA excerpts selected articles from its publications from tax and other fields. The excerpts give you a taste of the high-quality materials produced by BNA. (http://www.bna.com/)

3. Ernst & Young. Despite being too wide to fit on a 640×480 monitor (standard for many laptops, including mine), Ernst & Young’s (EY) Web site has a very nice look and feel. And you’ve got to love the countdown to April 15 reminder on the home page! (http://www.ey.com/)

4. Coopers & Lybrand. This site is visually very appealing, but if offers little content that would compel a visitor to come back. There are some useful files squirreled away under “hot topics,” but they are not very well organized. (http://www.colybrand.com/).

5. Matthew Bender and Company, Inc. Bender’s home page states: “Our website contains excerpts from our treatises, all of our product catalogs, release scheduling information, selected author biographies, publication updates, a transcript of our quarterly newsletter to the law librarian community, Inside Matthew Bender, and much more…” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Bender’s CEO, Kathryn Downing, has an established track record of turning publishing companies into technology companies, and it’s clear she’s doing it again at Matthew Bender. (http://www.bender.com/)

6. The Tax Prophet. Created by attorney Robert L. Sommer, this site has tons of useful content, including the latest tax planning techniques and potential traps. (http://www.taxprophet.com/)

7. CCH INCORPORATED. A subsidiary of Wolters Kluwer U.S., CCH is a leading provider of tax and business law information and software. Perhaps the best part of this site is the Tax ’96 section, which contains information on and analysis of the latest tax legislation. Must reading for tax professionals. (http://www.cch.com/)

8. Tax Analysts. This site is very well organized. It contains, for example, tax news and tax-related discussion groups. (http://www.tax.org/)

9. TaxWeb. A consumer-oriented site that contains tax forms, tips, and a directory of links for conducting tax research on the Internet. (http://www.taxweb.com/)

10. ABA Section of Taxation. Nice graphics and very helpful for finding out more about the ABA Tax Section. But the site does little to reach out to nonmembers that would encourage them to visit the site again or join the Section. (http://www.abanet.org/tax/)

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