Top Books About Tax Preparation and Tax Planning

The Best Tax Books Out There

Every year a handful of tax preparation books are published to help people prepare their returns. These books cover new tax law changes and provide instructions for preparing tax returns. They offer valuable tips for planning your finances with an eye toward minimizing your tax obligation. These books listed below are all easy to understand and comprehensively cover their topic. They're well-organized so you can quickly find the information you're looking for—they're basically the best tax books out there. they're basically the best tax books out there. 

1
J.K. Lasser's "Your Income Tax"

Tax Time
Getty Images/RonTech2000

This book is a comprehensive, well organized and easy-to-read reference guide for preparing a federal income tax return. It makes it easy to find information on specific tax topics, and the pages are designed for ease of reading so you can find your information quickly. I like it because the explanations are easy to understand. Chapter 23 contains the best explanation of the alternative minimum tax I've ever read.

J.K. Lasser has updates this book every year, and it's available on Kindle as well as in traditional format. Buy from Amazon

2
Jeff Schnepper's "How To Pay Zero Taxes"

Jeff Schnepper's book How to Pay Zero Taxes is a comprehensive guide to tax deductions and tax credits. Just as the subtitle promises, this book covers "every tax break the IRS allows."

The focus of this book is on tax planning. Schnepper advocates a solid approach: shift taxable income into non-taxable income or shift taxable income to family members in lower income tax brackets. You might also be able to increase your tax deductions and your tax credits. Schnepper excels in the discussion of various tax shelters, and he offers his opinions on which shelters are better and which are to be avoided. Schnepper has a knack for recounting news stories and tax-related quotations, which makes the book enjoyable to read.

This book is also updated yearly, and it's available on Kindle as well as in traditional format.  Buy from Amazon

3
"EY Tax Guide"

EY stands for Ernst and Young, LLP, a global leader in tax advisory services. The EY Tax Guide provides comprehensive information on federal income taxes for individuals in a well-organized and highly readable format. The wealth of tips, insights and tax-planning ideas provided by the Ernst & Young tax experts are the strength of this tax guide. Sections of the book cover special tax strategies for expatriates, non-resident aliens, estate and gift tax planning, and how to handle an IRS audit. The individual tax organizer is particularly useful.

The EY Tax Guide is regularly updated each year to keep up with tax changes, and it includes specific time-sensitive recommendations for homeowners, the self-employed and senior citizens. It's available on Kindle and in traditional format. Buy from Amazon

4
Other Options

These are just a few of the best tax books out there that happen to be my favorites. The list of good tax books is by no means finite because more are introduced each year. Another popular choice is the U.S. Master Tax Guide offered by CCH Tax Law Editors.

J.K. Lasser also publishes some more focused tax guides, such as those specifically for small businesses and for taxpayers dealing with retirement and estate-planning concerns. He offers a professional edition, as well as 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks if you're specifically looking for this kind of information. 

Browse online or at your local bookstore for the most recent publications, but you won't go wrong starting with these three books and related publications by the authors.