Good luck. Congress changes the rules on a whim. What you learn today may not apply tomorrow. And they often change them far into the tax year, making planning impossible. The software companies can't even keep up with the changes and get something usable out until the tax year is over.
Further, as I've been ranting about, it isn't even as simple as "what are the taxes on investment A, B , C?". That investment income interacts with other lines on your tax form, you just cannot look at it in isolation. But, since we can't get tax software ahead of time, you can't look at the interactions until it is too late. Catch 22.
In my case, I can make all sorts of changes to my numbers, and the tax due/refund does not change. This is NOT what some book will tell you. Because that book cannot anticipate the interactions in your tax form. I've got some thing going on where the RRC offsets other changes within some range.
I'm sure there are books that people will recc for the basics. But don't fool yourself into thinking it will mean anything.
For example, how can we determine whether we should convert Trad to Roth, w/o knowing future tax rates (let alone not really knowing the effective tax rates for 2008 until October, too late to get SW to deal with it)?
Yes, I know, I need to take a pill