The Internet is quickly changing the tax and legal professions. It can be an efficient way to keep abreast of tax developments, legislation, rulings, and most court decisions. In addition, it offers the professional dramatic cost savings in research, new ways to market services and communicate with clients, agencies, and other professionals. In short, the Internet has become a standard research tool for accountants in all practice areas. This course shows the practitioner how to access information-rich tax websites in order to research tax information. Emphasis will be given to the substantial speed and cost advantages of the Internet over traditional paper and computer tax "services."
Delivery Method: Online Interactive Self Study
Prerequisites: General understanding of federal income taxation.
Advanced Preparation: None
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1. Recognize the mobility of Internet sites and how to monitor such location changes, and identify ways that the Internet is changing the tax and legal professions.
2. Determine what constitutes the "Internet," recognize its evolution noting contributing organizations and specify ways that it can serve clients, benefit users and maintain professional skills.
3. Cite differences between the Internet and the World Wide Web, recognize how to navigate the Web using browsers and hyperlinks to access in-formation, identify the function of favorites or bookmarks, and locate sites that catalog hyperlinks.
4. Determine how to access the Internet safely and efficiently by choosing appropriate hardware, implementing security measures, and identify the parts to an Internet connection noting their function and how to optimize performance.
5. Specify ways to connect to the Internet including cable, satellite, and modem, identify the function of modems noting the importance of modem speeds and how to connect a modem disabling conflicting services, and locate computer chip speed.
6. Identify Internet service providers (ISPs) and on-line information services, specify the features of supplied and offered browsers, and deter-mine how to "surf the net" by typing a URL into an address bar noting the function each part of the address.
7. Recognize the online threat protection provided personal information and data by:
a. Scanning a hard drive for viruses, malware, and spyware;
b. Installing a firewall to prevent Internet detection; and
c. Backing up computer data efficiently and in more than one location.
8. Specify how to securely and politely send and receive e-mail with attachments, identify the components of an e-mail address, recognize the use of e-mail software and multiple service accounts, and determine how to organize and filter e-mails, identify the differences between news-groups and mailing lists noting professional mailing lists focused on tax is-sues.
9. Recognize the strengths and weaknesses of Internet tax research, identify online libraries, site lists, newsgroups and individual websites for cur-rent and pending federal and state tax law, articles, newsletters and developments, determine how to e-mail legislative representatives, and locate tax forms.
10. Determine how to search using Boolean connectors, automated searching, and intelligent browsing, locate an all-in-one site for a case, legislation and regulation search, and identify a gateway site that summarizes tax sites by category.
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