IRS Tax Tips
In today’s world we expect to have immediate answers via the web to questions that arise.When filing our taxes, and needing answers as to how to complete certain questions, find forms, etc., we especially want to find quick answers. Tax time can be a very stressful time of year, it is yet one more thing to add to our “to do” list, and involves our hard earned money. The IRS has embraced the “need it now and easily” culture that we live in, and has redesigned its website to be even more user friendly. Here are the top 10 reasons to visit the IRS website, which are also the top ten ways to get help from IRS.gov:
- Get 24/7 Access: Whether you do your taxes during the day or burn the midnight oil, IRS.gov has the tax forms and answers you need when you need them. It’s accessible all day, every day. The Interactive Tax Assistant is a helpful tool that will answer many of your tax law questions. Several tax forms, publications and information are also available in Spanish.
- Use Free File: Anyone can prepare and e-file their taxes for free with IRS Free File. Offered exclusively at IRS.gov, Free File’s brand name software or fillable forms do the work for you. If you made $57,000 or less, you qualify to use free tax software. If your income is more than $57,000 or you feel comfortable preparing your own tax return, use Free File Fillable Forms. This option provides the electronic versions of IRS paper forms.
- Try IRS e-file: Whether you do your own taxes or hire a preparer, IRS e-file is the safest, easiest and most popular way to file a complete and accurate tax return. Since 1990, taxpayers have e-filed more than one billion returns. If you owe taxes, e-file gives you options to file early and pay by the tax deadline. If you are due a refund, you should receive it in less than 21 days.
- Check Your Refund Status: You can track your refund using the enhanced “Where’s My Refund?” tool. It’s quick, easy and secure and has a new look this year. You can start checking on the status of your refund within 24 hours after the IRS has received your e-filed return. You can check your refund status four weeks after you mail a paper return. The tool includes a tracker that displays the progress of your return in three stages while it is processed. Once IRS approves your refund, “Where’s My Refund?” will give a date to expect your refund.
- Make Payments Electronically: E-payment options are a convenient, safe and secure way to pay taxes. You can authorize an electronic funds withdrawal, use a credit or debit card or enroll in the U.S. Treasury’s Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.
- Use the EITC Assistant: The Earned Income Tax Credit is a tax credit for working people who earned less than $50,270 in 2012. The credit can be worth as much as $5,891. Check your eligibility using the EITC Assistant tool. You may be among the millions of eligible workers who get the EITC this year.
- Get Tax Forms and Publications: You can view and download tax forms and publications any time. It’s the easiest way to get IRS forms and publications.
- Figure the Right Withholding: The IRS Withholding Calculator will help to ensure you don’t have too much or too little income tax withheld from your pay.
- Request a Payment Agreement: Paying all your taxes on time avoids penalties and interest. However, if you cannot pay your taxes in full you may be eligible to use the Online Payment Agreement Application to request an installment agreement.
- Get the Latest Tax Law Changes: Learn about tax law changes that may affect your tax return. Special sections of the website highlight changes that affect individual and business taxpayers.