IRS News Release  
January 02, 1997

Tax Forms are in the Mail

WASHINGTON - Millions of American taxpayers will soon receive their 1996 federal income tax packages in the mail. The Internal Revenue Service is mailing about 65.5 million tax packages this year and expects to receive almost 120 million individual income tax returns in 1997, with continued growth in filing by telephone and electronically.

"Most of the tax law changes that took place last year don't affect this year's tax returns," said Margaret Milner Richardson, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. "That is good news for many taxpayers, because they can use last year's return as a guide when preparing this year's returns."

But it is now even more important than before that taxpayers have valid identification numbers for themselves, their spouses and their dependents. Recent legislation makes valid identification numbers -- in most cases a social security number -- a requirement for claiming exemptions, the child care credit or the earned income credit. If a tax return has a missing or incorrect identification number, the IRS may disallow the related item or items and correct the tax.

"Simply by assuring that the information on their returns is correct, especially the taxpayer identification numbers, people can save a lot of time and make it easier for themselves," said Commissioner Richardson.

The IRS has taken numerous steps to continue making it easier for taxpayers to file their returns and get access to tax materials. For example, this year taxpayers can choose to have their tax refunds deposited directly into their bank accounts simply by putting the bank account information on the appropriate lines of the tax return. In the past taxpayers had to attach a special form to their returns to choose the direct deposit option.

Taxpayers also have new and expanded options for getting the tax forms and publications they need to complete their filing requirement. Those with access to the Internet can download whatever tax forms and publications they need from the IRS homepage ( The homepage contains a wealth of other useful tax help as well, such as the latest tax information and tax law changes; answers to the most frequently asked tax questions; a library of tax regulations; and the text of over 140 tax topics that are also available on the IRS TeleTax system of taped telephone information. These tapes cover such subjects as the earned income credit, the child care credit, dependents, which forms to use, and what to do if you can't pay your tax on time.

In addition, about 100 different tax forms are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from IRS TaxFax. Use the voice unit of your fax machine to dial the service (703-487-4160). The only cost is the cost of the call. And forms and publications are available Monday through Friday during normal business offices by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-3676. "We're trying to give taxpayers an array of convenient options to make it easier than ever for them to file accurate tax.

Previous | Next

1997 IRS News Releases | News Releases Main | Home