Checkpoint by RIA Featured Spotlight: State & Local Reporters

This is the third post in a four-part series spotlighting Checkpoint by RIA.

Checkpoint’s state and local reporters is a useful resource that allows you to search for tax documents for the fifty states. It includes statutes, explanations, regulations, cases, forms, and a weekly newsletter.

To access this resource for Texas, click the “Home” tab on the top bar. Under the section “My Quick Links” click the link “State & Local Reporters.” Select “Texas” and click “Next.” This feature allows you to select a state, the type of tax, and the type of document you are looking for. Further, this search tool allows you to narrow the results by keywords.

As an example, say a client asks you a trust question: Who pays the income tax, the income beneficiary or the principle beneficiary?

Begin by selecting “Estate & Gift taxes” under the “Select Tax Types” section and “Statutes” under the “Select Document Type” section. Next, under the “Keywords” search box type “income tax,” and click “Search.”

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In our results we can see Texas Property Code Annotated Section 116.205 Income Taxes.

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Selecting the “Income Tax” link will take you to the text of the Texas Property Code Section 116.205, which will allow you to answer your client’s question.

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Access to Checkpoint by RIA database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.


Oyez Finds New Home at Cornell’s LII

Oyez has found a new home at Cornell’s Legal Information Institute.

Oyez will move to the LII as its new home, with infrastructure and technical support from Justia, which had already been quietly supporting the Oyez site for several years.

Oyez is a multimedia archive devoted to making the Supreme Court of the United States accessible to everyone. It is a complete and authoritative source for all of the Court’s audio since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. Oyez exclusively offers transcript-synchronized and searchable audio, plain-English case summaries, illustrated decision information, and opinions. Oyez also provides detailed information on every justice throughout history and offers a panoramic tour of the Supreme Court building, including the chambers of several justices.

Launched in 1993, boasts nearly 9 million visits annually, ranging from students doing term papers to Supreme Court practitioners rehearsing upcoming arguments.

The project is now housed at Chicago-Kent College of Law under an agreement that expires soon. By the time the new term of the Supreme Court begins in October its home will be Cornell’s Legal Information Institute.


Checkpoint by RIA Featured Spotlight: Form/Line Finder

This is the second post in a four-part series spotlighting Checkpoint by RIA.

Checkpoint’s form/fine finder is a practice aid with line-by-line summaries for individual, corporate, partnership, estate, gift, trust, and exempt organization returns. It is a quick and easy-to-use resource to find information on Internal Revenue Services’ forms and lines.

To access the form/line finder, click the “Home” tab on the top bar. Under the section “My Quick Links” click the link “Form/Line Finder.” This will take you to the Form/Line Finder resource. From here, enter the tax year, the form number, and optionally you may enter a form or schedule line number or schedule.

For example, if we wanted to find Form 8863 from 2015—Education Credits for qualifying education expenses—we simply enter “2015” into the “Tax Year” field, “8863” into the “Form Number” field, and click “go.”RIA Checkpoint 4

From the search results we can see the Education Credits form. Click the result to access the resource.

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Checkpoint provides information of the education credits including “choosing which credit to take; choosing not to take either credit,” and cross-references to other Checkpoint resources.

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Access to Checkpoint by RIA database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.


Texas Statutes by Date

Have you ever needed to see how a statute read on a particular date in time?  You also probably know how difficult it can be to locate this information!  While the Law Library and fee databases have this information sometimes its useful to be able to go to the internet and check a free source, like Texas Statutes by Date.

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The Texas Constitution and Statutes site now has a feature, Statutes by Date, that allows users to see how a statute looks on a particular date; anytime from today back through 2004.

To do this go to their webpage, enter the date you’re interested in viewing in the calendar, select the code you need (code, article/chapter, and article/section) and click the “reset” button.

This is a great free resource that can be used by anyone to find those sometimes difficult to locate older statutes!




Federal Register Sources

Federal Register Sources


fedregThe Library of Congress (LC) reports that its Federal Register online collection provides access to 14,586 issues of the Federal Register, covering the years 1936-1993. The LC is not the only site to host free access to the Federal Register. FDSys (or the GPO’s Federal DFigital System) picks up the coverage of the Federal Register starting with 1994 to current. The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) is another excellent source for current or more recent issues visit their site.


The Law Library has multiple sources and formats for accessing the Federal Register including:

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Checkpoint by RIA: What is it?

This is the first post in a four-part series spotlighting Checkpoint by RIA.

Thomson Reuter’s Checkpoint by RIA is a tax research system. It includes primary sources such as the Internal Revenue Code, federal tax cases, and Internal Revenue Code rulings and releases.

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Checkpoint also provides editorial materials from RIA, including a variety of helpful resources such as form/line finder, a federal tax handbook, and annotations and explanations for the United States Tax reporter.

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Checkpoint offers current awareness materials such as WG&L Journals and the Federal Taxes Weekly Alert Newsletter.

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Finally, Checkpoint gives the user the ability to make notes, save folders, and flag pages using the icons at the top of the screen.

Access to Checkpoint by RIA database is available through the Texas Tech Law Library website under the Electronic Databases tab.



Managing and Sharing Files Across Multiple Devices

These days, it’s not uncommon for one person to use two, three, or even four devices in a day for doing work, accessing the internet, reading, playing games, or whatever else. I am a rather extreme example, but over the course of a typical day, I will generally use my work PC, my Android smartphone, my iPad, and my home PC for any or all of these tasks. If I’m traveling, I may also use my laptop, or occasionally a PC at a hotel business center, a conference center, or some other device that I don’t even own. When writing, I may work on a document at work, then more at home, and then on my iPad while out for dinner. Likewise, I may download an article or case to read on my work PC, then open it on my phone to finish while I’m waiting somewhere else.

While external drives (like flash drives or pocket hard drives) can be used to transfer large files between computers, they do have limitations. They can be easily lost or fail at inopportune times. Moreover, mobile devices rarely allow for easy connection to such devices (most don’t have full-size USB ports, for example). Cloud storage services offer a solution that is generally platform-neutral, and often have basic services available for no cost to you.

Continue reading “Managing and Sharing Files Across Multiple Devices”