Smart Stops on the Web


Links for Professionals
CPAs and tax preparers will want to bookmark this directory to accounting, payroll and tax Web sites. In the tax software category, users can find many links to electronic programs for income tax preparation, payroll and 1099s, estate, trust and retirement, and sales and use taxes. Other topics include federal tax laws, rates and tables, tax forms and publications and tax associations such as the Institute for Professionals in Taxation.

E-Filing Help
Tax preparers who electronically file returns will find links to federal forms and instructions, and state e-file application requirements here. Users can find their way to all state revenue and tax e-sites, and download Form 8633, Application to Participate in the IRS e-file Program. Shoppers can view a free demo of Tax Link’s AutoTax Pro software.

Wealth Preservation Resources
Elder law attorney Dennis Toman’s e-stop offers estate planners links to Web sites with current and archived IRC section 7250 rates, estate tax calculators and IRS tax tables. Visitors can get a free seven-part course on estate planning subjects including joint tenancy, living trusts and probate, as well as find estate planning glossaries, articles such as “Top Seven Estate Planning Questions” and the e-pamphlet Life Advice About Making a Will.

Calculators Aplenty
CPAs and tax preparers will want to bookmark this Web stop for a useful offering—free calculators. Visitors can find auto expense, home and personal finance, investment, lease, refinance and retirement calculators. Other site resources, such as the 2004 tax guide, current and archived tax news, forms, tables, worksheets and a tax glossary, also will come in handy.

For Gift Tax Returns
CPAs and their clients can read a comprehensive guide to the federal gift tax at this e-stop. Topics of discussion include annual exclusions, charitable deductions, due dates and extensions, generation-skipping transfers and marital deductions. Visitors also can access gift tax rate and unified credit tables for Form 709, United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, as well as look into purchasing 709 Accountant’s federal gift tax software.

A Decent Proposal
CPAs in need of guidance on writing business proposals can go to this Web site for free articles on how to word them, how to develop effective graphics and how to make oral proposals and presentations. Visitors can access the News and Market Research Center for topics including government contracting, information technology and small business proposal writing. They also can sign up for a free newsletter with links to business development resources such as advice on getting started, self-review and submission checklists.

For Fraud Busters
At this e-stop internal auditors can find links to Web sites on general and risk-based auditing and risk management. Users also can read articles on investigating conflicts of interest and “Cyber-Sleuthing” in the Fraud Investigation section. In addition, the Crime on the Internet area offers links to books and studies, state statutes and organizations such as the Computer Emergency Response Team.

Brush Up on Business Strategies
Users can read current and archived issues of Optimize magazine dating back to 2001 at this Web site. Article topics include business leadership and management, ethics, customer relationships and emerging technologies. The Research Library provides case studies, market research and vendor white papers on, for example, global issues, optimal marketing and return-on-investment valuation.

A Beneficial Place
The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) home on the Web offers free statistical information and research findings on topics such as employee tenure, health care, retirement income and Social Security benefits. Visitors can find links to other Web sites including and read the executive summary for “The Decline of Private-Sector Defined Benefit Promises and Annuity Payments: What Will It Mean?”

Find It Fast
Office managers and sole practitioners can bookmark this Web stop for ideas on gathering “quality contact information.” Users can look up post office locations by ZIP code, research income tax and labor statistics, and read copy-writing tips on, for example, effective marketing letters and powerful brochures.


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.