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March 2000  Hot Topics

Hot Topics: Income Tax Preparation and Assistance on the Web

March's Hot Topics is dedicated to those who need help in the preparation of their 1999 federal and state income tax returns. 

Note:  Many tax forms and publications are available in Adobe's PDF format only. The freely available Adobe Acrobat Reader   pdficon.gif (224 bytes) is needed to read and print PDF files. This can pose a problem for Internet users who cannot download or view PDF files.   You may obtain IRS form via fax from E1040.

Best Places to Start

Essential Link - Taxes - This is the most comprehensive and has the best organized collection of tax websites on the Internet.  The major categories include: Major Tax Sites; Forms; International Taxation; Tips; Commercial Tax Sites; Discussion Groups; News and Newsletters; and Tax Software.   Start with this website for your tax research.

Yahoo Finance - This is another comprehensive web page of tax-related information.

Snap Tax Center - The Snap search engine also has an excellent collection of tax-related websites.

IRS Forms and Publications

    The IRS provides its forms and publications on-line. 

IRS forms : (

A compilation of IRS forms you'll need to file your taxes.

IRS Publications: (

A comprehensive set of publications to answer your specific tax questions.  Check out the following publications (Note: these publications are contain hypertext links for easy navigation):

For individuals, IRS now has inter-active tax tables for taxable income under $100,000 and non-interactive tax rate schedules for incomes over $100,000.

Note: Starting January 15, 1999, taxpayers may pay the balance due by credit card.  Call 1-888-2PAY-TAX and arrange to pay your 1998 federal income taxes with either a MasterCard, Discover or American Express card.  Visa has not yet agreed to participate in this program.  Your credit card company will set the fees for this service.  The IRS receives the payment amount, but not the credit card number used.   This service is available regardless of whether electronic or paper returns are filed.

Starting February 28, 1999, taxpayers may use their computer to make a credit card payment on their 1998 taxes, although this pilot program is limited to "e-filers" using Intuit tax preparation software and a Discover card.

The IRS push for e-filing is pervasive.  Witness this inter-active program for young adults, jointly developed by IRS and the Tax Section of the American Bar Association.

State Forms and Publications

California Tax Forms: Go to the California Franchise Tax Board's website for the latest forms. The homepage  has general information on taxes filing and legislation.

Other State Tax Forms - The website has links to those state tax forms on the Web.

Tax Prophet

Also, be sure to review these Tax Prophet FAQ's before filing your returns:

FAQ: April 11, 1999 - Paying Taxes Due; 6 Ways to Save During 1999.

FAQ: March 28, 1999 - Eight Last-Minute Items to Consider When Filing Your Return

FAQ: March 14, 1999 - Top 5 Tax Breaks for 1998

Hot Topics: March, 1999 - Twenty-One Items to Consider Before Filing Your 1998 Tax Return

The Tax Prophet's Cybersurfing section contains the leading web gateways for locating other tax-related web sites and tax information.  Use it as a tax research tool.

If you think you are immune from paying taxes or believe there is a simple fool-proof way to avoid you tax obligations, there are plenty of cyber-thieves eager to take your money and leave you in financial ruin.  Check out the Tax Prophet's Trust Scam Bulletin Board before you become victimized.

Tax Advice Websites

Taxweb:  A gateway website with an excellent FAQ section.

Check out Microsoft's entre into the tax arena - MSM Money Central

For U.S. taxpayers living abroad, check out the Expatriate InfoCenter for tax advice and filing requirements.

Quicken Tax financial center also has answers to common tax inquiries.

On-Line Tax Calculators

For a free full-scale Java Form 1040 application, check out NetTax '9X tax calculation program.

For a simple approximation of your tax liability, try the "Quickie Tax Calculator" by E-1040.   There is a suite of java-based financial calculators at this site.

If you are looking for a suite of tax and financial calculators, the financial calculators at should fit the bill. 

On-Line Tax Preparation and Filing

For $9.95, you can file your Federal income taxes using Turbo Tax Online or Tax Cut Online.

If you file a Form 1040EZ, you might be eligible to file your taxes using a touch-tone telephone.  For details, here is the IRS's webpage.

Professional Tax Assistance

If you are looking for tax professionals to prepare and file your tax return, contact the following organizations:

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

National Association of Tax Practitioners

Need to locate a tax preparer close to where you live or work? Use the Yahoo Yellow Pages to find one located near you. Looking for a list of tax preparer or tax information on the web? Yahoo is the place to start.


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All contents copyright 1995-2003 Robert L. Sommers, attorney-at-law. All rights reserved. This internet site provides information of a general nature for educational purposes only and is not intended to be legal or tax advice. This information has not been updated to reflect subsequent changes in the law, if any. Your particular facts and circumstances, and changes in the law, must be considered when applying U.S. tax law. You should always consult with a competent tax professional licensed in your state with respect to your particular situation. The Tax Prophet® is a registered trademark of Robert L. Sommers.