1997 Tax Help Archives  

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Help Available

This is archived information that pertains only to the 1997 Tax Year. If you
are looking for information for the current tax year, go to the Tax Prep Help Area.

Does IRS provide free tax information and services?

Yes. Refer to Tax Topic 101, IRS Services, or Publication 910, Guide to Free Tax Services, which describes the IRS publications and the free tax information services you can receive throughout the year. On this web site, see Forms and Pubs for a complete list of forms and publications available for download, and Tele-Tax Topics for other IRS information.

Do you have assistance for taxpayers with disabilities?

Yes. Here are some of IRS' services:

  • Tax Topics on this web site are compliant with the International Conference On Auditory Display (ICAD) when you download to adaptive computer equipment.
  • Special telephone assistance is available during normal business hours for hearing impaired individuals through TDD equipment, allowing the hearing-impaired person to communicate with a tax assistor in either English or Spanish. The toll-free number for this service is 1-800-829-4059.
  • Also, braille materials for the visually impaired are available at regional libraries that have special services for persons with disabilities.

For additional information on these subjects and other areas that may affect persons with disabilities, refer to Tax Topic 102, Tax Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities and the Hearing Impaired, or Publication 907, Tax Hightlights for Persons with Disabilities.

I am starting a small business. What assistance can IRS give me?

If you are starting or already have a small business and need information on taxes, recordkeeping, accounting practices, completing Federal business and employment tax returns, and meeting other Federal tax obligations, there is help available. Much of the assistance is free. The service is called Small Business Tax Education Program, or STEP. You can find out more about this program for small business by referring to Tax Topic 103 or mailing the interest form in Publication 1057, Small Business Tax Education Program Brochure, to the nearest IRS Taxpayer Education Coordinator. In addition, the IRS has assembled a business tax kit, Publication 454-A, which contains various forms and publications for persons in business or for those starting a business.

I received an IRS notice. I've contacted the IRS at least three times about it, but the problem still hasn't been fixed. What can I do?

Call your local IRS office and ask for Problem Resolution assistance.

Persons with impaired hearing who have access to TDD equipment may call 1-800-829-4059.

Are copies of tax forms available at local libraries?

If you need tax forms or would like instructions for completing your federal income tax return, your local library may have just what you need. For further information, refer to Tax Topic 105, Public Libraries - Tax Information Tapes and Reproducible Tax Forms.

Is there any special assistance available on unresolved tax matters which are creating a hardship?

If you are suffering, or about to suffer a significant hardship because of the way Internal Revenue laws are being carried out, you may ask for special help from the IRS' Problem Resolution Office. Refer to Tax Topic 911, Hardship Assistance Applications.

My modem will not download your forms, what can I do?

You can call the IRS at 1-800-TAX-FORM or 1-800-829-3676 and place an order for forms or publications. The best times to call are Thursday or Friday afternoons. The hours of operation are Monday thru Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information see Tax Topic 155, Forms/Publications - How to Order.

If you have a fax modem and fax software, see Fax On Demand on this site for information about getting the forms you need by fax.

Forms and publications are also available at local IRS offices, many Post Offices and libraries, and by computer:

FedWorld's help desk offers technical assistance for transmission problems (not tax help) during regular business hours at 703-487-4608.

Federal Tax Forms CD-ROM contains hundreds of tax forms, instructions and TIPS (Taxpayer Information Publications) for current and prior years back to the 1991 tax year. It runs on Windows 3.1 or later/Windows 95 and Macintosh 7.5 platforms and is available for $25.00 from the Government Printing Office (GPO). For further information or to order, visit the GPO Superintendent of Documents site:


I am having trouble downloading forms and publications from your web site. What can I do?

Adobe Acrobat Reader software is needed to view and print PDF files (the preferred format for viewing or printing IRS forms, instructions, and publications).

Adobe Acrobat Reader is available free-of-charge from hundreds of sites on the Web, including the IRS web site. However, the best way to get the free software is from Adobe's home page, http://www.adobe.com. Their site offers two versions of the Reader, versions for most platforms (Macintosh, all Windows versions, etc.), and they even offer the user his/her language preference.

Adobe provides comprehensive instructions for downloading the software.

To view or print a PDF file from the Web, download the file to your hard drive or diskette, launch the Acrobat Reader (an icon will be created during the set-up process) and open the file you just saved. The document will appear on your monitor and you can print from there. Some web browsers will launch the reader automatically when you download a PDF file.

How can I collect child support from my ex-spouse?

You must contact your local child support agency.

How can I participate as an electronic filing originator?

To participate in the Electronic Filing Program, you must submit Form 8633, Application to Participate in the Electronic Program. Submit your application to the appropriate Service Center as shown on Form 8633. Publication 1345, Handbook for Electronic Filers of Individual Income Tax Returns, provides you with the information you need to apply to participate in the Electronic Filing Program. Technical information can be found in Publication 1346, Electronic Return File Specifications and Record Layouts for Individual Income Tax Returns. Updates to this publication will appear on the Electronic filing System Bulletin Board: (606)292-0137.

Where can I get Notice 89-25 for an example of a reasonable interest rate for periodic IRA distributions before age 59 1/2.

Notice 89-25 is printed in Internal Revenue Cumulative Bulletin 1989-1, which is available at most IRS offices and some libraries.

I have a question about my state taxes. Can you help me?

We address only federal tax and procedural issues on this site. On NTS' SisterStates page, the Link to State Tax Forms may provide the state tax information you need. Otherwise, you will need to contact your local state tax office.

I can't get my employer to pay me my pension money. Who do I contact?

You need to contact the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Visit them at http://www.pbgc.gov or call their toll-free hotline at 1-800-998-7542.

The following is an excerpt from that site:

"The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) protects the retirement incomes of more than 42 million American workers -- one of every three working persons -- in about 50,000 defined benefit pension plans.

"PBGC was established by Title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in 1974 to encourage the growth of defined benefit plans, provide timely and uninterrupted payment of benefits, and maintain pension insurance premiums at the lowest level necessary to carry out the Corporation's obligations."

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