Sometimes it's easy, living here in the Information Age, to lose site of the fact that frequently the old and tried true methods still work best. For example, you can get all kinds of federal tax help off the internet, but it's scattered all over the Web on different pages and sites. And, on all commercial sites, you'll have to fight your way through endless popup ads and links to get anywhere.
A book like "Taxes for Dummies," on the other hand puts everything in one place right in front of you. It's easy-to-read, fairly well organized, and thoroughly helpful. "Taxes for Dummies" is for anyone who wants to prepare their own taxes, either by hand or by computer. It contains excellent advice and strategies for dealing with the IRS. Especially welcome are the line-by-line tips for filling out the shorter 1040-EZ and 1040-A forms.
The table of contents lists each line of the tax form, making this information easy to find. By providing instructions for the 1040EZ, 1040A and 1040. (Most books just cover the 1040.). There are icons that indicate tax-saving tips and warnings to keep you out of trouble. These writers have done an excellent job of turning IRS technical jargon into something most can actually understand.
Taxes for Dummies is book that guides you step by step to dealing with the IRS. If you have received a letter from the IRS (and one out of three taxpayers do, according to the book), this book will explain to you what the letter means, and how to respond to it. These authors even provide sample letters so you can respond promptly. This exceptionally well-written advice for dealing with the IRS is worth the price of the whole book.
The section on tax planning is well-balanced and sensible. There are unique tips by the authors' on how tax planning can impacts financial aid for college. Provides sensible tips for finding a tax preparer, including a list of ten questions to ask during your initial interview. Information on reconstructing missing tax records is superb. The authors provide excellent suggestions for substantiating cost basis, business expenses, and fair market value.
Some of the major problems that taxpayers face are given very cursory treatment. For example, clients with losses of any kind (rental income, stock investing or business) need to keep excellent records to protect themselves. I wish the authors had presented tips for what records to keep to defend their return in an audit situation.