Safely Surf Tax Web Sites

Keep these tips in mind when searching for information.

While tax sites are plentiful, it's important to keep inmind that the information you find on them is only as reliable asthe sources it comes from. Make sure you know as much as possibleabout a site's owners, their credentials, and how longthey've been providing tax information before you do somethingdrastic like change your accounting system on their advice. Steerclear of web sites sponsored by tax protest groups because theyoften advocate tax positions that are overly aggressive and, insome cases, frivolous, says Dennis Schmidt, a University ofNorthern Iowa accounting professor who offers a directory of tax andaccounting sites.

Schmidt warns that before you make any decision or take anyaction based on tax information you discover on the internet, youshould always consult a qualified, professional advisor whounderstands your particular business well. Many web sitesthemselves point out that the information they provide is by nomeans a substitute for professional tax services andcounseling.

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