IRS offers help with tax filing deadline looming

With the federal filing deadline of April 15 next week, the IRS is reminding taxpayers that one quick way to avoid long lines at IRS tax assistance centers or hold times on the phone is to use IRS resources readily available online at www.IRS.gov.

Everything from getting a tax transcript to making a payment to checking on a refund can be done 24/7 on the IRS website.

“We are doing everything we can to help taxpayers get the assistance they need during the filing season, yet, many still face long waits,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

“We don’t want anyone waiting needlessly when there are other resources at their fingertips.”

The IRS website has many tools and services that make getting IRS help a quick click away:

Get a tax transcript. You may need a tax transcript for a variety of reasons, including if you apply for a loan or student financial aid, information needed for state or local tax filing purposes, or even for medical, housing or utility social services. Visit IRS.gov and use the “Get Transcript” tool.

Try IRS Direct Pay. If you owe taxes, pay with IRS direct pay. Go to IRS.gov/directpay to pay your federal tax bill.

Apply for an IRS payment plan. If you can’t pay all your taxes at once, apply for an IRS online payment agreement.

Check on your refund. The “Where’s My Refund?” tool is a fast and easy way to check on your tax refund. Use the IRS2Go mobile app to access the tool, or click on the “Refunds” tab on IRS.gov.

Use IRS Free File. If you need to file your tax return, you can e-file for free by using IRS free file. If you earned $60,000 or less you can prepare and e-file your taxes using free brand name tax software.

If you made more, you can use free file fillable forms.

Get answers to tax questions. The “Interactive Tax Assistant” covers many common tax topics. Type in your question or search terms and it can lead you step-by-step to the answer.

The IRS tax map gives you a list of tax law subjects to select. It integrates tax topics, forms, instructions and publications into one research tool.

Get health care tax information. IRS.gov has information about the Affordable Care Act at IRS.gov/aca. You can visit this site for details on how the health care law affects your taxes.

For example, the pages provide information about:

• Reporting health insurance coverage.

• Claiming an exemption from the coverage requirement.

• Making an individual shared responsibility payment.

• Claiming the premium tax credit.

• Reconciling advance payments of the premium tax credit.

You can also use the “Interactive Tax Assistant” tool for help on how some of these laws apply to your situation.

Check out a charity. You must donate to a qualified charity if you want to deduct the donation on your tax return. Use the IRS “Select Check” tool to see if a charity is qualified.

Get forms and publications. View, download and print federal tax forms and publications anytime.

Calculate your tax withholding. If you get a larger refund or owe more taxes than you expect when you file your tax return, you may need to change your tax withholding. You can complete and give your employer a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. Use the IRS “Withholding Calculator” tool to help you fill out a new form.



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