1997 Tax Help Archives  

IRS Procedures

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.

If I don't agree with an audit assessment, do I have any appeal rights?

The IRS has an appeals system for people who do not agree with the results of an examination of their tax returns or with other adjustments to their tax liability. For further information on the appeals process, refer to Tax Topic 151, Your Appeal Rights.

How can I check on the status of my refund?

Refund information does not become available until it has been 6 weeks since you filed your tax return (3 weeks if you filed electronically or through Telefile). After waiting the appropriate number of weeks, the fastest, easiest way to find out about your refund is to call the Automated Refund Service at 1-800-829-4477. Be sure to have a copy of your return available since you will need to know the first social security number shown on your return, the filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. The IRS updates refund information every seven days. Refer to Tax Topic 152, Refunds - How Long They Should Take, for additional information.

I'm expecting a refund, but I have not filed my return and the deadline has passed. Will a late penalty be charged?

If there is a refund due to you, no penalty for late filing or late paying will be charged. The penalty is based upon the unpaid taxes as of the due date of the return.

I have not filed tax returns for several years. What should I do?

Call 1-800-829-1040 and request the nonfiler unit. The assistor will answer your tax questions and help you obtain blank prior year forms. For additional information, refer to Tax Topic 153, What to do if You Haven't Filed Your Tax Return.

The deadline for filing a return has passed and I did not file for an extension. What should I do?

You need to file the tax return as soon as possible. If any taxes are owed, pay them with your return. If you are unable to pay the amount in full, refer to Tax Topic 202, Installment Agreements.

I didn't get my W-2 by January 31, so I asked my employer for it, but I still don't have it. What should I do?

If you don't receive your W-2 by February 15, contact the IRS for assistance. Please refer to Tax Topic 154, Form W-2 - What to do if not Received, for specific information the IRS will need in order to prepare Form 4852, Substitute for a Missing Form W-2.

How can I get forms and publications?

  • Download them electronically via this web site or on FedWorld
  • Call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676) from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM weekdays.
  • Order by mail using the order blank in the tax package you receive in the mail.
  • or pick them up at your local IRS office, participating library, or post office.

How do I obtain forms (including prior year) and publications not available on your site?

By phone: Call 1-800-829-3676 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. weekdays. (In Alaska and Hawaii, the hours are Pacific Standard Time.)

How do I request a copy of my tax return for last year?

Form 4506 can be used to request copies of previously filed and processed tax returns; or Forms W-2 only. The

IRS cannot provide copies of information returns such as Forms 1099.

There is a charge of $23.00 for each tax period requested. The IRS also provides tax return transcripts and copies of Forms W-2 only at no charge. For additional information, refer to Tax Topic 156, Copy of Your Tax Return - How to Get One.

Should I notify the IRS of my change of address?

If you have moved, you need to notify the IRS. That way we can change our records so that any tax refunds due to you or any other IRS communications will reach you in a timely manner. Refer to Tax Topic 157, Change of Address - How to Notify IRS, for additional information.

Can I combine my estimated tax payment with the payment for my Form 1040?

Estimated tax payments should not be sent with or be included in checks or money orders for payment of federal income tax with your return. Mail your estimated tax payments separately to the address shown in the 1040-ES instructions. For additional information on ensuring proper credit of payments, refer to Tax Topic 158.

If I mailed my return in after April 15th, would the return be considered received on the day it was postmarked or the day the IRS received it?

A return delivered to the Service by U.S. mail after the due date for the return is considered timely filed if the return was postmarked on or before the due date of the return. See IRC 7502(a). Effective July 30, 1996 this rule includes postmarks supplied by any private delivery service designated by the Service. To come within this rule, however, the return must be postmarked within the prescribed filing period. For example, an income tax return postmarked April 16 and received by the Service on April 20 is considered filed on April 20.

Where can I get information about becoming a licensed IRS tax preparer?

You do not have to be licensed or certified by the IRS in order to complete someone's income tax return for pay. You are, however, required to sign the return as a "Paid Preparer".

An income tax return preparer may be subject to a civil penalties (and barred from practice) for knowingly preparing tax return(s) or refund claim(s) which understate the tax liability or overstate the refund based on unrealistic information. While not required to examine or review documents or other evidence to independently verify the taxpayer's information, the preparer must make reasonable inquiries if it appears to be incorrect or incomplete, or to determine the existence of required facts and circumstances incident to a deduction. See Reg. 1.6694-1(e)(1).

For additional information see Publication 470, Limited Practice Without Enrollment, and Publication 947, Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney.

How is the IRS notified of the entity classification under the new "Check-the-box" rules?

Under new regulations, existing rules for determining whether an entity is a partnership rather than a corporation are replaced with a simplified elective system of entity classification. This approach is popularly called the check-the-box rules.

See Reg. 301.7701-3 and Form 8832 for more information.

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