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About the IRS and their information

First off, let’s debunk a few myths about the IRS. The IRS is not your enemy! No one at the IRS has a personal vendetta against you or spends their days trying to complicate your life! In fact, the IRS has made a big effort to be friendly, and it shows.

But since the IRS is responsible for collecting taxes, this makes it hard for the agency to win any popularity contests.

It isn’t the IRS’ fault that the tax code is so complex.

For that you can blame decades of politicians, who in their efforts to get the best shake for their various constituents, cobbled out compromises so they could get bills passed. Session after session of Congress has nit-picked contradictory proposals, and the cumulative result is a hugely complex and bloated tax code with zillions of different tax code items.

You simply can’t apply the words “clarity” and “logic” to describe the U.S. Tax Code. The IRS has to do the best they can to communicate the tax laws they’re charged with enforcing.

IRS communications are actually pretty clear, but...

The IRS has hundreds of publications describing all sorts of tax issues and forms. IRS editors deserve credit for translating tax code into language that’s fairly understandable -- especially for those of you who are comfortable with accounting terms. And many IRS publications feature examples that show how the rules apply in real life situations.

But there’s so much information that it’s daunting to face. The IRS is obligated to cover all the types of situations that might ever come up for anyone. Their lists of forms and publications seem endless. And their explanations are so extensive, they go on and on, page after page after page.

As you -- the normally sharp small business owner -- are reading their information, the small type in front of you shrinks smaller and smaller, the multiple columns start weaving together, your eyes glaze over, you’re feeling dizzy, a headache’s coming on... you’ve just got to take a break!

Idea Cafe’s approach to IRS information

We’ll select out what we feel is important for most small business owners and why. We’ll route you directly to the meatiest material so you can skip over what’s less pertinent.

You’ve read our Terms of Use so you know what you find here is not to be construed as legal or business advice. So we’ll skip adding disclaimer language like “generally” and “in some cases” to each sentence like an accountant would. Although we acknowledge that in our quest to keep small business tax issues as simple as possible, we’ll be overlooking some areas that may be important to some specific business, we don’t want to muddy the main ideas -- yet.

DISCLAIMER: We have provided this information to give you a general introduction to tax issues. It is distributed with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. Neither Idea Cafe Inc. nore any of its sponsors or advertisers make any representations or warrantees regarding this publication or its accuracy. In no event shall Idea Cafe Inc. or any of its sponsors, advertisers or affiliates be liable for damages, including incidental or consequential damages, in connection with or arising out of the performance or use of this publication. By utilizing this information, you are agreeing to our full terms of use.

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