Table: Tax Pros' Picks

Who wants to spend hours reading about taxes? Not us. To spare you (and 
      ourselves) those awful hours poking through dozens of new small-biz tax books 
      and Web sites, we solicited reviews from folks who specialize in tax planning 
      for small companies. Burlingame (Calif.) planner Barbara Steinmetz looked at 
      three popular books, while Kent Noard, a San Jose (Calif.) planner, surfed 
      three tax-related Web sites.
      PROS                         CONS
      Business Owner's Toolkit Tax Guide 2000, CCH/$17.95
      Discusses capital            Only first half of
      assets and depreciation.     book geared to business
      Well-organized glossary.     owners, mainly sole proprietors.
      Business Owner's Tax Savings and Finance Deskbook, Harcourt/$89
      Most sophisticated of        A serious book that makes for some
      group, especially            tough slogging.
      coverage of investments.
      Handy CD-ROM.
      Tax Savvy for Small Business, Nolo Press/$29.95
      Lightens a dry subject.      Weak on expenses. Breezy style
      Best on how to classify      sometimes obscures important
      independent contractors.     details.
      Web sites
      Thorough reviews on tax      Lacks information on tax planning.
      software and Web links.      Some info not updated to 1999.
      Best for do-it-yourselfers.
      Comprehensive on tax laws.   Hard to navigate. Generally,
      Helpful checklists,          have to know exactly what you
      and easy access to forms.    want to get it.
      Best for planning and        Active message boards are
      its related Web links.       seductive, but beware heeding
      Helpful forms for basic      strangers' advice.