IRS News Release  
January 01, 1998

Free Tax Assistance

Each year the Internal Revenue Service works to make it easier for people to get tax help. This year taxpayers have more options than ever before to get the help and information they need.

The IRS has expanded the hours of special toll-free numbers for all services, but filers may not have to look any further than their tax package. It has all the information most people need in a new easy-to-follow format.

Taxpayers who still need help this year don't have to wait in line. They can go on-line. The IRS homepage has forms, publications and lots of information available around the clock.

Tax Help On-Line

Taxpayers accessed the IRS homepage on the World Wide Web more than 200 million times in 1997, receiving over 8 million forms, publications and a variety of topic-oriented tax information. Anyone with Internet access can receive:

  • tax forms, instructions and publications
  • the latest tax information and tax law changes
  • tax tables and rate schedules
  • 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 rulings, revenue
  • procedures, notices, announcements, proposed regulations and final regulations

Taxpayers can access the IRS homepage at --

Tax Assistance By Telephone

Need a form? Call the IRS special forms order line. Try IRS TaxFax. Checking on a tax refund? Call the TeleTax line for quick service. Still need help? The IRS tax assistance phone service has expanded hours.

Forms and publications -- 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676)

Tax forms and publications are available Monday through Friday during normal business hours by calling IRS.

Forms by fax -- (703) 368-9694

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. The only cost to the taxpayer is the cost of the call.

Recorded tax information -- 1-800-829-4477

TeleTax has 149 topics available 24 hours a day using a touch-tone phone. Filers can call toll-free to hear recorded information on tax subjects such as earned income credit, child care/elderly credit, dependents, electronic filing, which form to use, or what to do if taxpayers can't pay their taxes. Nearly 8.5 million taxpayers used TeleTax last year for recorded tax information.

Automated refund information -- 1-800-829-4477

Last year more than 47 million taxpayers used the automated refund information system on TeleTax to check on the issuance of their refund checks. Taxpayers can call to check on their refund status Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Tax assistance -- 1-800-829-1040

If taxpayers can't answer their tax questions by reading the tax form instructions or the free tax publications, they can call the IRS for assistance. Telephone tax assistors answered over 100 million calls last year. Telephone assistance hours have expanded to: Monday - Saturday 7 a.m. - 11 p.m. Alaska 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. Hawaii 5 a.m. - 9 p.m.


The 1997 federal tax forms CD-ROM contains more than 2,500 tax products including forms, instructions and 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 2-issue subscription is $20.

Walk - In Help

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.

Volunteer Programs

Over 3 million taxpayers were assisted last filing season at more than 8,000 IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites and more than 10,000 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.

Problem Solving

The IRS Problem Resolution Program provides assistance to taxpayers whose problems are not resolved through normal IRS channels. Each IRS district and service center has a Problem Resolution Office and a local Taxpayer Advocate. If taxpayers have problems that haven't been resolved by prior contacts with the IRS, they can call 1-800-829-1040 and ask for PRP.

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