Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ask Punny Money: Basic Tax Law Introduction?

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics:

ask punny money

Frank, also known as America’s Favorite Financially Savvy Atheist, poses our first question of the Blog Marathon:

What is a good site/resource to get a good introduction to the tax laws of our great nation?

I assume by “great nation” you are referring to Andorra in which case all the tax law knowledge you need can be found between these two dollar signs: $ $.

Oh, you meant the United States. Yikes.

While there’s obviously nothing basic about the tax laws of the good old USA, everyone should at least know what the numbers they’re plugging into their tax software or getting back from their accountant mean. To that end, here are a few great online resources that will get you up to speed on the basics of taxes in no time.

  • BankRate.com’s Tax Basics. BankRate.com is usually my first stop for basic financial information simply because they have so much of it and it’s written in an organized, concise format. They cover all the basics and also have a slew of articles on more advanced topics.
  • IRS Student Lessons. I highly recommend staying far away from the IRS website because most of their information is neither organized nor concise (though it is 100% official). But check out this series of pages from the IRS that’ll give you some background on the hows and whys of taxes.
  • Free Money Finance’s Tax Series. I was glued to FMF’s series of daily tax articles leading up through April, and I have to say his explanation of education tax credits directly saved me a few hundred dollars on taxes this year. Check out the archives which are chock full of easy-to-understand information.
  • J.K. Lasser’s Your Income Tax (Book). Sorry folks, but Dummies and Idiot’s Guide books aren’t going to cut it for such a complex topic. J.K. is the man when it comes to tax books, and his website is full of supplementary information. Now’s a great time to pick up discounted tax texts, but be sure to keep an eye out for updates to tax law that might help you in 2007.

Keep those questions coming because I’ve still got 21 hours to fill!

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