The Purpose and Use of TaxAlmanac

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TaxAlmanac is a website designed by Intuit, the makers of the professional tax preparation products Lacerte and ProSeries, for tax, financial, and accounting professionals. It is not a consumer tax question site.

TO ALL WHO COME TO TAXALMANAC

1. To Do-It-Yourself Posters:

We ask you read this, take it to heart and understand what we professionals at TaxAlmanac would like you to know about us, this site and our feelings about questions and responses posted to this online forum. I will caution that while this is my own treatise, I write it based on postings, discussions, responses and thoughts that been posted by many over several weeks, months and a couple of years.

Many of you have jobs. You get paid. You like to receive a fair days wage for a fair days work. You don't appreciate it when someone is reaching into your pocket and taking money from you. You look upon it as taking "food off your table." You don't give away your abilities for free nor do we expect you to do so or ask you.

This is our livelihood. We generate income from it. Many of us have trained for years, spent considerable amounts of time, energy, resources (i.e. money) to become certified, licensed, etc. and we must maintain those certifications to continue to practice. This site is not designed for free tax or business advice. It is designed for tax/accounting professionals to exchange ideas or questions for us to do our jobs better. While many of us may not miss a meal if we give a "freebie" now and then, it needs to be understood that not everything in life or on the Internet is free.

You might think you have an easy situation. Some do-it-yourself posters actually have more difficult situations and need professional advice. If we tell you to seek professional advice, it is in your best interest to do so, to save you time, aggravation and most importantly, YOUR MONEY ($$$$$)! We have no idea who you are, where you are and so we have no idea if you are going to walk in our door. We make no money off referrals here on this site. This site is not designed for us to generate any business.

We also don't write the tax laws. Your Congressional representatives do. If you have a complaint about those laws, please be sure to contact them. You can do so here:

https://forms.house.gov/wyr/welcome.shtml

Also, if you don't like the laws, use your power and vote. Change will only come if you express your disapproval by voting those in power out.

Our goal is to be helpful. What you might interpret as rude is us sometimes being straightforward and honest with an answer. Sometimes, we speak in plain terms for you to understand. It is not a reflection on your intelligence. You might be the very best and brightest in your field. Many of us are very good and the best at what we do in the tax/accounting profession. Our economy is complex and as a result, so is our country's tax law. It is our desire to have you understand that tax law is complex and therefore your best alternative is to seek a professional advice before you make what could amount to a costly mistake when we direct you to do so. Please note that as Kevinh5 says "TAX SOFTWARE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR A GOOD TAX PROFESSIONAL." His words of wisdom are very appropriate. Certain types of professional advice are outside the scope of this forum as we cannot possibly know all the facts that pertain to your situation in a short message posted here. Please be mindful of that and know we are only trying to be helpful.

The best thing for you to do is pay attention to the following advice:

1. First to tax professionals: Upon registering, please complete a profile. It is important that you do so. Here's something to show you how to do it:

Discussion:TO TAX PROFESSIONALS - PLEASE READ

2. For tax professionals and or those who are preparing their own returns: Please search the Forum first before posting. Right underneath the TaxAlmanac logo is a yellow box under the header "Search." Please look here first by typing in one or two words that describes your situation. Your question has probably been ask and answered already. Also try here:

http://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/index.jhtml

http://www.irs.gov

Try Publication 17 first at the IRS website. That has many of your questions answered already you may want to ask here and are very basic. We won't provide a link as it changes every year. Just click on the IRS link above, type in "Publication 17" (without the quotes) in the Search Function (upper right-hand side of their website). It will come up in an HTML and PDF format. Choose your preference.

3. Before jumping into the discussion forums, check out the Main Page of TaxAlmanac as it has "Research Resources." There are many good links provided there, so please check them out.

4. If your do-it-yourself question involves off-the-shelf software programs such as TurboTax or TaxCut, please go to their websites. Here are their links:

http://turbotax.intuit.com/

http://www.taxcut.com/

5. If the answer is not what you want to hear, please do not argue with us. Again, we don't make the laws. It will also cause our forum posts to degenerate into a contest of wills and posts filled with rude responses. We don't need or want that. It's not appropriate.

6. We need not answer or respond to your post. If we do not, please do not follow-up with a post attacking us. See #4 above.

7. Please note the TaxAlmanac Terms of Use and Code of Conduct found here:

Code of Conduct

TAXALMANAC.ORG WEBSITE USE AND CONTRIBUTION TERMS

8. If we tell you as a do-it-yourselfer to seek a tax professional's help, you would be wise to do so. We mean this sincerely.


Best wishes,

Tom aka Taocpa

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