Saturday, April 26, 2014

Finding stuff online

Last night, I spent a couple of hours researching a fine point on Flexible Spending Accounts, that provision of the IRS Code that allows some of us to put aside some untaxed money to pay for medical expenses. It's a great crap shoot in that you really have to predict the unpredictable - your health - in order to get it right. That's another story.
What struck me in my search for the facts was how much the web forest has overgrown the truth. In my case, I was looking for reasonably reliable information on a proposed IRS rule and on the management of FSA plans by employers. I never did find the latter, although I may have found a couple of places that - with proper payment - might have let me look at what they offer, but I am not their target; employers are.
For the former, the proposed IRS rule, I wound up being bounced by the IRS to Cornell and could not track down what happened to a proposed 2007 regulation. While I am a lawyer, I do not consider myself to be a tax lawyer and have not researched in that arena for a long time. Finally, it popped up almost inadvertently.
In the end, it would have been more fun to go to a well-equipped local library and look it up there in some real books.

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