Just a couple weeks ago, more than 35 people came together here on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus for our annual review of the Federal Tax Workbook. Attendees included Tax School staff, instructors, authors, reviewers, and stakeholders from across the country, and our sole mission was to make the Workbook the best teaching tool and tax resource for practitioners to use this fall and beyond.
The 3-day meeting involves tax professionals — CPAs, EAs, experienced preparers, IRS employees, attorneys – going through each chapter, page-by-page, to verify accuracy, completeness, and relevance. At the conclusion of this meeting, all 12 chapters of this year’s Workbook were ready for our internal final readthrough process. We come together again in early September to do a dry run teaching the content, while looking for any last-minute typos or problems in the text, and then we send the book to the printer. We use a local print shop – Premier Print Group out of Champaign – to print the nearly 13,000 books that get shipped to tax practitioners in Illinois and throughout the country.
One of the things I was most shocked to learn when I first joined the Tax School team nearly nine years ago was that creating the Workbook is a year-round process. In fact, we have already started brainstorming ideas for the 2024 book. We will continue to call upon the very smart and invested folks who helps us craft this book year over year to come up with ideas based on what they see in practice, and we’ll continue to look to our Fall Tax School attendees for ideas for topics that are most relevant to them. We typically author a few chapters for the next year’s book in the fall and finalize the rest of our topics for the year in January. While you all are pushing your way through filing season, we are busily crafting content so that we can have it ready to review come early August. And then the cycle begins again!
The University of Illinois Tax School has been in existence since 1940, and for the majority of that time, the Federal Tax Workbook has been the driving force behind what we do and how we do it. You can see some of that history in our Archive, where you can search by keyword through content from the past 26 years. It’s interesting to see what the 1997 IRA contribution limits were compared to now!
I hope you enjoy some of the photos from the meeting. If you happen to be someone with an eye for writing or editing and want to be involved in the process in the future, we’d love to hear from you! Send us a quick email at email@example.com and we’ll be in touch.
You can see the full list of chapters included in the 2023 Federal Tax Workbook below. These will be taught at Fall Tax School in Illinois and online in October and November, 2023.
2023 Federal Tax Workbook Topics
By Gina Marsh,
EdM University of Illinois Tax School Director