Tax Analysts — The Federal Research Library

From the December 2009 Review of Tax & Accounting Research Systems.

Tax Analysts provides a variety of information resources on tax issues for tax and accounting professionals, including daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly publications that focus on news and analysis of tax policies, regulation and legislation.

Ease of Use/Search Routine:
The homepage layout is simple and straightforward with a list of sources organized by category in a pane on the left side of the screen. Displayed in the large center pane are the most recent documents added to the Library within the last seven days organized by document type. Users may browse through the content as organized, retrieve a specific document by citation, or search for keywords or whole phrases. Users have the option to search one of the more than 45 sources individually, by category, or select all or portions of the content library. Quick Searches are provided at the top of each source’s Table of Contents. The product supports wild cards, multiple word proximity, number of hits returned, and sorting by relevancy.

The result set returned is shown in a large center pane and grouped by source, with single line references to each document. Each document line contains a link to the full source where the search terms are highlighted. Relevant documents in the database also have links so researchers can easily follow a trail. There is no provision for saving a search for later use. The method for retrieving court opinions expects that the user will have a citation to begin, but will also search for a word or phrase in the case name or text. Navigation anywhere is dependent on the browser back button or by using the content pane on the left side of the window.

The library offers a fairly comprehensive set of sources for a product at this price point. Included are the Internal Revenue Code, Revenue Rulings and Procedures, final, temporary, and proposed regulations, treasury decisions, announcements, notices, IRS Publications, all Chief Counsel Advice including letter rulings, and technical advice, an in-depth courts collection, a Quick Reference section, as well as the familiar Federal Tax Baedeker, a plain English guide to Federal Taxation. Additional sources include the Internal Revenue Manual, proposed legislation, recent legislation, an extensive legislative history collection, all JCT bluebooks, and an Archives Collection.

The Archives Collection contains the entire IRC, final and temporary regulations, publications, and the Internal Revenue Manual for each year beginning with 2001. More than 120,000 court cases from the U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Supreme Court, Courts of Appeals, Bankruptcy Courts, U.S. Courts of Federal Claims, and U.S. District Courts are included in the collection for searching. If the practitioner needs to look into the legislative history on all relevant tax acts, including bill text, and House, Senate and Conference reports, it can be found here, going back to 1981.

Looking to future developments in the Code, Tax Analysts now includes a proposed legislation database, with up-to-date documents on proposed tax legislation currently under consideration and their current status. Congressional Research Service Reports are also now included. Included in the Quick Reference content is a directory with names, addresses and phone numbers of IRS staff, Congressional staff and Treasury, including their areas of interest.

The homepage for any user at a particular subscription level will have the same look and feel. As previously noted, no provision is made for saving searches, nor is there an option for changing the appearance or layout of the screen. This is not a huge deficit, considering the price point and the targeted user. Selected content can be printed using the web browser menu print tool. Downloading content uses the edit | select | copy | paste method.

Help, Support & Updates:
Tax Analysts offers online training, which may even qualify for CPE credit. These interactive training sessions are free, requiring only Internet access and a telephone. Registration is required to participate in these training sessions, and they are offered at specific times and dates. For example, the Introduction to Tax Analysts Federal Research Library is offered weekly, and sessions last one hour. The Federal Research Library is updated daily Tax Analysts generates various newsletters on a daily, weekly and monthly schedule. Annual subscriptions begin at $366 per user.

2009 Overall Rating: