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 -- www.irs.ustreas.gov
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
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
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.
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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