Now we are going to look at some non-IRS based research. As we saw yesterday, the IRS.gov website is the mother of all tax research locations. Well, today we are going to look for some siblings and cousins.
Of course when doing research you have to hit Google, Ask and Bing. But remember the responses you receive are not necessarily authoritative. Remember the biggest rule from part 1. Authenticate! When you do a search on the different sites for tax information start with a broad based search term and then use the search engine features that allow you to “search within the results” to narrow it down. Once you make a selection to look into, do your homework. Is this a paid professional research site like CCH.com, Parkertaxpublishing.com, TheTaxBook.com, or many others? Is this a free site like CNN Money, TaxPro Today, Accounting Today, or a host of others. Is this a blog site from a Tax Professional? Is this a site from an educational institute? Is this a paid advertisement? I’ll say it again, do your homework and authenticate!
Once you decide on a source for your situation and have authenticated, review the material in full. Many times when people are researching they read until they get to the answer they think they want and stop. In those situations, it never fails, there is something further down in the material that either quashes their hopes or expands on them. Look for material with references to authoritative material from the various authorities mentioned in part 2. If there are links to these references, even better, use them!
I’ll leave you today with this thought: Too little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Too much knowledge is an impossibility!
Next up: Basis Reconstruction. Stay Tuned…