February 2002

Website of the Month: Tax Talk Today

By Susan B. Anders

Tax professionals will find this Tax Talk Today (www.taxtalktoday.tv) a convenient way to access information on current tax and business issues and an inexpensive way to catch up on CPE (or CLE).

Tax Talk Today is produced by L&M Production Design Group, and its sponsors include the IRS. The website offers monthly live broadcasts with a variety of panelists and moderators drawn from the tax professional community, including IRS representatives. Viewers can address real-time questions to the panelists via e-mail, fax, and telephone. Although viewing broadcasts is free, there is a small charge to receive CPE credit.

The website's best feature is the convenience of its broadcast archives: Previously aired programs are available for viewing for 12 months. As with live broadcasts, it is free to view archived broadcasts, but a small charge, and a required test, is necessary for CPE credit.

The website's second-best feature is the program support material, which is offered before the live broadcasts and also archived for one year. Some of these documents are interesting and useful even without viewing the broadcasts. Program support material can be found under the "resources" menu.

In general, the website is very easy to use. It is well designed and finding information and features takes little time. Downloading program materials, however, can be difficult and may take several attempts. Most new personal computers already have the Real Player or Windows Media Player software that viewing the broadcasts requires; and the website offers easy access to download the free software for users that don't already have it.

Susan B. Anders, PhD, CPA, is an assistant professor of accounting at the School of Business at St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, N.Y.

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