IRS News Release  
January 02, 1997

Free Tax Assistance

Year by year, the Internal Revenue Service is working to make it easier for people to get tax help. The first place to look is right in the tax package. The package's new design makes it easier to find information. For those people with Internet access, the IRS's homepage has forms, publications and lots of helpful tax information. For those who don't have a computer, the IRS has special toll-free numbers for whatever help a taxpayer might need.


The IRS's homepage on the World Wide Web has proven to be a popular source for both tax forms and tax information. Since coming on line last January, taxpayers have accessed the web site more than 100 million times and have received over three million forms and publications. Anyone with Internet access can receive:

  • tax forms, instructions, and publications;
  • the latest tax information and tax law changes;
  • tax tables and rate schedules;
  • hypertext versions of Publication 17, "Your Federal Income Tax"
  • taxpayers can move from one section to a reference with a click of the mouse to search for the tax answers they need;
  • all TeleTax topics;
  • answers to the most frequently asked tax questions;
  • a library of tax regulations;
  • the weekly Internal Revenue Bulletin, which contains all the latest revenue rulings,
  • revenue procedures, notices, announcements, proposed regulations and final regulations.

Taxpayers can access IRS's electronic information services at the following addresses:

  • on the World Wide Web -
  • via Telnet -
  • via FTP -
  • by direct dial - 703-321-8020


TeleTax has 148 topics available 24 hours a day using a Touch-Tone phone. Taxpayers can call (toll-free) 1-800-829-4477 to hear recorded information on tax subjects such as earned income credit, child care/elderly credit, dependents or other topics such as electronic filing, which form to use, or what to do if you can't pay your taxes. Nearly nine million taxpayers used TeleTax last year for recorded tax information.


Last year more than 52 million taxpayers used the Automated Refund Information system on TeleTax to check on the issuance of their refund checks. Taxpayers may call 1-800-829-4477 to check on their refund status Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. if using a Touch-Tone phone, or 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. for rotary or pulse service.


Tax assistance, including tax law information, tax return preparation, and forms and publications, is available at more than 400 IRS offices nationwide. Or taxpayers may want to consider the free volunteer programs available in many communities.


Four million taxpayers were assisted last filing season at more than 8,000 IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites and more than 11,000 Tax Counseling for the Elderly sites. These volunteer programs are set up in shopping centers, libraries, churches or community centers. Taxpayers should check their local newspapers to find these site locations.



Taxpayers with access to a personal computer, a modem and a printer can download most tax forms and publications from the IRIS or, for those with Internet access, the IRS homepage.

By Fax

Taxpayers can receive about 100 different tax forms 7 days a week, 24 hours a day from IRS TaxFax. In addition to forms and instructions, taxpayers can receive faxed copies of TeleTax topics and small business newsletters. Taxpayers must use the voice unit of their fax machine to dial the service at 703- 487-4160. The only cost to the taxpayer is the cost of the call.


The 1996 Federal Tax Forms CD-ROM contains more than 600 tax forms and instructions, and some 3,000 pages of topic-oriented tax information. Users can electronically search, view-on-screen, or print-out any of the items contained on the CD. Available through the Government Printing Office's Superintendent of Documents, the three-issue subscription is $25.

By Phone

Tax forms and publications are available Monday through Friday during normal business hours by calling IRS at 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).

Previous | Next

1997 IRS News Releases | News Releases Main | Home