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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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13–16. Create an On-Line Tax Policy Listing

The accounting staff does not always have a clear grasp of the tax implications of various accounting transactions. Examples of these problem areas are transfer pricing, capital movements, and employee contracts and benefits. When a question arises in regard to such a problem, either it is put on hold while a question is run past the legal or tax staffs, or else it is processed in ignorance of the answer—which frequently leads to a lack of consistency in the handling of transactions, and a large headache for the tax staff. These problems can be avoided by installing a clear set of tax policies on-line.

By itemizing the most current tax policies on-line, anyone in the accounting department can readily research problems and expect to find answers within a few minutes of a tax-related question being posed. If the answer is not there, then the site can also include an e-mail linkage to the tax or legal department, so that the problem can then be properly researched and posted on-line for the next person who has the same problem. Also, because the posting is on-line, there is no need to issue a cumbersome mailing to a list of approved recipients every time a change is made to the policies; instead, the change can be readily made to the on-line posting, which makes it available to anyone at once. Certainly, there will be complex transactional situations that are so unique that only the advice of a trained tax person will yield the correct answer ...

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