Tax Guru-Ker$tetter Letter
Friday, August 24, 2001
Advance Look At Tax Forms
I am as vocal a critic of the IRS as anyone; so I look for opportunities to offer some balancing praise. They are doing a good job in making information available via their website. This is great from our side as tax practitioners and should be saving the agency a lot of taxpayer money in printing & postage.
Until just recently, IRS would mail out draft versions of the next year's tax forms upon request and sometimes print them in their weekly Internal Revenue Bulletin. I have always appreciated having an advance look at the forms for several reasons. I often used them in my seminars as hand-outs and overheads in order to keep everything as up to date as possible. I lose respect for books & classes that use tax forms that are several years old.
It's also useful in preparing to deal with new tax laws. For example, I have been following the new 1040 in regard to the advance rebate checks that are being mailed out. According to the draft form, there is going to be a worksheet in the instruction booklet that will assist in calculating how much credit a person is entitled to and factor in what has or hasn't been received already.
You can see the newly released drafts of tax forms here. I usually stop by a couple of times a week and sort the list by date to see what new forms are out and download the ones I am interested in.