Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Money Tech

Times Picks

November 09, 2000|KATHY M. KRISTOF -- kathy.kristof@latimes.com

The best Web sites from Times personal finance and markets writers:

Internal Revenue Service at http://www.irs.gov.

It used to be a bear to get information from the Internal Revenue Service. You basically had two choices: the IRS' toll-free phone number, which was invariably busy; or the service's published information, which took too long to arrive by mail to be of much use to a taxpayer facing a deadline.

But the electronic age has done wonders for those needing information from federal tax authorities. Instead of calling, you can go to http://www.irs.gov and find your own advice or forms by looking through the volumes of booklets, forms and articles posted on the site. Just about anything you need, including gigantic 'how to file' tomes - the big yearly income tax guides that cost $14.95 in bookstores, that are takeoffs of the IRS' publication 17 - is available for free. Better yet, the most up-to-date forms, including the 2000 1040 and the 2000 tax tables, are posted for those who want to get a leg up on figuring out how much they'll owe in April.

The only trouble is finding what you want. The IRS Web site isn't exactly user friendly. In fact, to find the new 1040 -- the main tax form for individual filers -- you must follow links labeled 'tax information for businesses.' Nonetheless, if you're patient and clear on what you need, you can use the site's search engine to narrow your hunt to the 100 or so most likely prospects. It's not instantaneous, but it's likely to take less than 14 days to find and print a form.

Better yet, now that much of the IRS' routine call volume has been diverted to the Web, it's easier to get a phone representative on the agency's toll-free hotline. If all else fails, you can call (800) TAX-1040 and ask the representative to tell you exactly where to find what you want on the Web.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|