Tax Guru-Ker$tetter Letter
Sunday, February 18, 2001
Handiest Tax Resource
For at least the past 15 years, part of my annual preparation for upcoming tax seasons was the ordering of the QuickFinder 1040 and Small Business handbooks from TMI Tax Services in Minnesota. Back when I had the big offices in the S.F. Bay area, I would order a copy for each of my accounting staff. I now only have to order one copy of each; but those get a ton of usage. I keep them right under my desk and refer to them at least a dozen times a day, especially when answering questions on the various websites I participate in. [You didn't think I knew all of those bits of tax minutiae off the top of my head did you?] Whenever I leave the office to meet with clients or give a speech, both books are always in my briefcase.
Both books have grown in usefulness over the years, inlcuding more info that I used to have to find in other sources, and keeping up with changes in business entities. The LLC section has grown from just a short paragraph a few years ago to a large section of its own.
A few years ago, TMI started offering a CD-ROM version of the books, including IRS forms & publications. This was a good idea. However, since I already receive those from other sources, I haven't found the $90 price justifiable yet. Also, not having a laptop computer, the old fashioned books are stilll the best way for me to take the info with me.
For anyone in the tax business, these are indispensable. For about $40 each, they are actually bargains for "normal non-tax people" who may want to look various things up. Considering that I charge $195 per hour for explaining many of the same topics that are covered in these books, they can pay for themselves pretty quickly.