January 01, 1999
Free Tax Assistance
Fast and reliable assistance for the 1999 tax
filing season is as close as your personal computer, your telephone or
your fax machine. A user-friendly web site and toll-free help lines will
make it easier than ever to access the 5,000-plus tax products and services
offered by the Internal Revenue Service. For those taxpayers with Internet
access, the IRS home page has forms, publications and lots of helpful information.
Beginning in January, telephone assistance will be available 24 hours a
day/seven days a week. If you prefer to drop by an IRS office, Saturday
hours have been expanded at 250 sites.
Of course, the first place to look for answers
to tax season questions is your 1998 tax package. It contains tips for
avoiding common mistakes and guidance for taxpayers who need help.
TAX HELP ON-LINE
Taxpayers accessed the IRS homepage on the
World Wide Web more than 340 million times in fiscal year 1998, downloading
over 35 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;
- Publication 17, "Your Federal Income Tax"
- 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 the IRS homepage at --
TAX ASSISTANCE BY TELEPHONE
Need a form? Call the IRS special forms order
line or 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.
Tax Assistance -- 1-800-829-1040
Taxpayers who can't answer their tax questions
by reading the tax form instructions or the free tax publications can call
the IRS for help. Beginning in January 1999, telephone tax assistance will
be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Recorded Tax Information -- 1-800-829-4477
TeleTax has more than 140 topics available
24 hours a day using a Touch-Tone phone. Taxpayers can call 1-800-829-4477
toll-free to hear recorded information on tax subjects such as earned income
credit, child care/elderly credit, dependents, innocent spouse relief or
other topics such as electronic filing, which form to use, or what to do
if you can't pay your taxes. Nearly 9.6 million taxpayers used TeleTax
last year for recorded tax information. TeleTax topics are also available
on line at the IRS Web site.
Forms and Publications -- 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676)
Free copies of current and prior year forms,
instructions and publications are available by calling the IRS. Your order
should arrive within 10 days.
Forms by Fax -- (703) 368-9694
Taxpayers can receive about 100 different tax
forms 24 hours a day by calling IRS TaxFax. In addition to forms and instructions,
copies of TeleTax topics and small business newsletters are available.
Taxpayers must call from the telephone connected to the fax machine to
use this service.
Automated Refund Information -- 1-800-829-4477
Automated tax refund information is available
on the TeleTax system from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and
from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET on Saturdays. Taxpayers should wait at least four
weeks after ding a return before calling to check on the status of a refund.
Forms, publications and tax help are available
at more than 400 IRS offices nationwide. During the 1999 filing season,
walk-in service will be offered on 13 Saturdays--January 16 through April
10--at 250 sites. The focus for the first six Saturday sessions will be
the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Some of the most requested tax forms, instructions
and publications are also available at many post offices and libraries.
The 1998 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
any of the items contained on the CD.
Buy the CD-ROM on the Internet at www.irs.ustreas.gov:80/cdorders/
for $13 (plus a $5 handling fee), and save 35% or call 1-877-CDFORMS (1-877-233-6767)
toll-free to buy the CD-ROM for $20 (plus a $5 handling fee).
Millions of taxpayers were assisted last filing
season at more than 16,000 IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites and
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.
The IRS Problem Resolution Program provides
assistance to taxpayers whose problems are not resolved through normal
IRS channels. The IRS has a National Taxpayer Advocate and each IRS district
and service center has a Problem Resolution Office and a local Taxpayer
If taxpayers have problems that haven't been
resolved by prior contacts with the IRS, they can call the new toll-free
help line at 1-877-777-4778. Around-the-clock service will be available
beginning in January.
In addition, IRS Problem Solving Days will
continue to be held once-a-month throughout the year. Dates and locations
are available on the IRS homepage at www.irs.ustreas.gov
and are publicized by local media.
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