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As with any other topic, the internet provides a wealth of resources for taxpayers. Here are some websites and web pages that provide information, tools and resources to help you with year-round tax planning and assist in preparing your Form 1040.

You can use this site to find the price of any listed stock or mutual fund on any exchange for any given date. If you inherit an investment, your cost basis is the fair market value of the investment on the date of death of the person from whom it was inherited. This information is generally reported on the federal estate or state inheritance tax return. However, when you sell the stock you inherited you do not always have ready access to this information. You can calculate your basis by going to this site and, under “Historical Quotes”, enter the ticker symbol of the stock and the date of death, or the nearest business day, to get a price quote. If you sell stock that you received as a gift, your basis is either what the donor paid for the stock or the fair market value at the time the gift was made. You can also use this site to determine a cost basis for gifted property.

You must begin to take annual required minimum distributions from a traditional IRA or employer pension account by April 1st of the year following the year in which you turn age 70½. This address takes you to a calculator that will determine the amount of your required minimum distribution for the year.

These sites will help you to make intelligent charitable giving decisions. It provides information on and evaluates the financial health of over 4000 charities. It also has articles and guides on contributing to charity.

You can use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System to pay any type of federal individual or business tax online. For example, once you determine your federal estimated tax payments for the year you can go to this site and, after registering, instruct eftps to automatically withdraw each quarterly payment from your bank account on the individual due dates (April 15, June 15, Sept 15 and Jan 15) and never have to worry about forgetting to make a payment or making a payment late.

If you travel for business, instead of deducting your actual expenses for meals and incidental expenses you can elect to deduct the federal per diem amount for the location of the travel. Click on “Per Diem Rates” under “Most Requested Links” to find the federal per diem rates for Lodging and Meals and Incidental Expenses for domestic business travel effective for current and prior years.

Click on “CALCULATORS” in the menu at the top of the page. Then click on “Taxable/Tax-Free Yield Equivalent Calculator”. This calculator will allow you to determine what you need to earn on a taxable investment to equal the tax-free yield of a municipal bond or a bond fund.

Say what you will about the Internal Revenue Service, their website is a goldmine of information and resources on federal taxation for individuals, businesses, non-profits, and tax professionals. Download forms and instructions, calculate the proper withholding, check on the status of your refund, etc – the list goes on.

While the rules for claiming a deduction for donating a car to charity have changed, there are still situations where you will be able to deduct the fair market value. Click on “What’s My Current Car Worth?” to find the “Blue Book” value

An online collection of payroll tools, this site features a variety of “standard” and “specialized” calculators. Use their Salary and Hourly Paycheck Calculators to determine the federal and state withholding and net pay under various scenarios. You can use this calculator to see how changing your withholding status and/or number of exemptions will affect your take home pay.

The Redleaf Press has “exceptional resources for early childhood professionals” that help child care providers successfully manage their business.

Here are some websites that provide guidelines for determining the value of your non-cash contributions to charity, (i.e. clothes, household items, appliances, furniture, etc.).

This site offers complete and up-to-date information on Section 529 college tuition savings plans for all states, with links to the websites of the individual state plans.

Go here if you need to get a new Social Security card because you changed your name during the year due to marriage or divorce.

This address will take you to the State Department per diem rates for Lodging and Meals and Incidental Expenses for international travel. Use these amounts if you travel overseas for business.

This page provides direct access to the tax forms for each state, the District of Columbia, and US Territories, which you can download using Adobe Acrobat.

This section of the website of the Bureau of Public Debt provides a variety of information, calculators and services for individuals who have invested in or are thinking of investing in US Savings Bonds (all series). You can go here to find out if your savings bonds have stopped earning interest and to purchase bonds online.

My weblog has been around since June of 2001. It provides up-to-the-minute advice, information, resources, and commentary on federal and NJ state income taxes and the NJ property tax rebate programs, updates on federal and state tax legislation, IRS and NJ Division of Taxation rulings and regulations, and federal and NJ tax court decisions, insights and observations on operating a tax preparation practice, and information on other online tax planning and preparation resources. Every Wednesday and Saturday I publish WHAT’S THE BUZZ, which reports on relevant tax-related posts and articles I have come across in my wanderings on the internet. The blog goes on “hiatus” during the tax season, and is not published from February 2 – April 14.