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

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13–23. Subscribe to an On-Line Tax Information Service

Congress is constantly tinkering with the tax laws, while the IRS continues to issue a flood of interpretations in response to new tax situations. Consequently, it is extremely difficult to stay current on which changes in the tax code apply to a company’s specific circumstances. Many companies solve this problem by hiring a CPA firm that specializes in taxation issues. However, the cost of this service is extremely high; moreover, the people working for the CPA firm may not be aware of ongoing operational issues at a company that may impact its tax situation.

A good alternative is to subscribe to an on-line tax information service, such as the CCH Internet Tax Research Network (located at tax.cchgroup.com) or the RIA Federal Tax Product Packages (located at www.ria.thomson.com). These services allow one to conduct searches on a wide range of tax topics, including the IRS Code, executive orders, pending and enacted legislation, U.S. tax treaties, and individual tax acts. These services update their databases of tax information as soon as new information becomes available, which makes this a better source of information than CD-based products. Also, search features allow one to quickly hone in on all tax information pertaining to a specific topic.

The downside of these services is their cost, which generally fall into the range of $2,000 to $5,000 per year, depending upon the scope of services purchased. Also, these subscriptions ...

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