March 2002

Website of the Month: The Digital Daily

By Susan B. Anders, PhD, CPA, St. Bonaventure University

Most tax professionals probably feel that they suffer from IRS information overload during tax season, but if they aren’t already familiar with the IRS’s website,, it is worth a look. Long-time users that are familiar with the “The Digital Daily” are already aware of some of the helpful information available through this website. But the IRS recently made substantial enhancements that improve the site’s user-friendliness and provide access to more resources.

The home screen now provides quick and easy access to resources. The user can now perform a keyword (or “keynumber”) search to access desired information or documents. A basic keyword search pulls up anything and everything on the website, from frequently asked questions (FAQ) to tax form instructions. Clicking on “search help” and reading the IRS’s suggestions before trying a keyword search will probably save time. Clicking on the “advanced search” option will also allow the user to narrow the resources to be searched.

One of the website’s best features is the downloadable forms and publications, which can be retrieved through the basic keyword search or more quickly through the “forms and publication finder.” (To get there, click on “resources” on the homepage, then go to “forms and publications.”) Documents can be accessed by number or by words or phrases. No more scrolling down a long list of forms and publications (although that feature is still available). Fill-in forms, on which the user can key in tax return information, are also available, although they cannot be saved to disk: they must still be printed.

The “Digital Daily”’s “practitioner’s corner,” accessible through clicking on “tax professionals” in the table of contents, provides links to state revenue sites, state law guides, other government and nongovernment sites, and international sites. This is a convenient way to access state tax forms and other information provided over the Internet by the states. Although this area also provides links to articles and other resources on various tax issues, these are fairly limited in scope and should not be relied upon as comprehensive or current.

This website includes other features that tax practitioners and taxpayers will find useful. Overall, “The Digital Daily” is very user friendly and many of its features can be accessed from multiple locations within the website. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to download forms, publications, and other .pdf files, and can be downloaded from the website if the user does not already have it installed.

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