WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today encouraged taxpayers working on their 2014 returns to take advantage of the numerous online tools and resources available on IRS.gov.
This is the first in a series of 10 daily IRS tips called the Tax Time Guide. These tips are designed to help taxpayers navigate common tax issues as the April 15 deadline approaches.
“We are doing everything we can to help taxpayers get the assistance they need this tax season,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Our phone lines are extremely busy this year, so this series will offer taxpayers tips on how to get help along with important options and issues to keep in mind as the April 15 deadline approaches.”
IRS.gov and its online tools, such as the Interactive Tax Assistant, can answer most taxpayer questions — getting them the tax help they need, when they need it.
The Interactive Tax Assistant can answer a wide range of tax questions, including newer areas of the tax law, like the Affordable Care Act. It can answer questions such as:
• Am I eligible to claim the Premium Tax Credit?
• Am I required to make an Individual Shared Responsibility Payment?
The Interactive Tax Assistant takes taxpayers through a series of questions and provides them with responses to tax law questions about tax credits, deductions and general filing questions. Taxpayers get the same answers as if they’d called and spoken with an IRS representative on the phone line, and they can print out the answers for their records.
To learn more, click on the Tools page or the IRS Services Guide for a list of the many features and applications offered by IRS.gov.
Online Help for Preparing Tax Return
Taxpayers preparing their own tax return or looking for free tax preparation will find that IRS.gov provides answers to many tax questions in a user-friendly format. It’s now easier than ever to navigate the site because of many redesigned pages.
Taxpayers can start by clicking on the Filing tab. It’s the place to find important updates and information regarding tax return preparation and electronic filing options, including Free File. The IRS has several options to help taxpayers file their tax return. Filing electronically is the easiest way to file a complete and accurate return. This page also has links to forms and instructions.
Individuals can check the Affordable Care Act tax provisions page for helpful information about how the health care law affects their tax return. The online resources provide answers to individual questions.
Taxpayers can look at the Online Services and Tax Information for individuals section for information needed to file, pay and manage their taxes, including forms, instructions and electronic filing options.
This year for the first time, there is a searchable directory on IRS.gov that will help taxpayers find a tax professional with credentials and select qualifications to help them prepare their tax returns.
Free File Everyone can find an option to prepare and e-file tax returns for free through Free File. Taxpayers who earned $60,000 or less in 2014 qualify for brand name tax software free of charge through a public-private partnership with manufacturers. Free File fillable forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms, are also available to all taxpayers regardless of income and are best suited for taxpayers who are comfortable preparing their own returns. Free File is available only through IRS.gov.
VITA/TCE Site Locator enables low-and moderate-income taxpayers to find the nearest volunteer tax help site. Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (VITA/TCE) programs, eligible taxpayers can get help filing their return for free at one of the more than 12,000 community-based tax help sites staffed by more than 90,000 volunteers. This includes claiming tax benefits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and meeting new requirements under the healthcare law.
EITC Assistant helps individuals find out if they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, a tax benefit that aids millions of low-and moderate-income workers and working families. If they qualify, this credit can increase the tax refund by up to $6,134.
Download IRS2Go for Android devices from the Google Play Store or IRS2Go for Apple devices from the App Store. Use it to check refund status, watch the IRS YouTube channel, find free tax preparation help, get IRS news as soon as it’s released, subscribe to filing season updates or daily tax tips, and follow the IRS Twitter news feed, @IRSnews, to get the latest federal tax news, including information about tax law changes and important IRS programs.
In addition to various interactive tools, IRS.gov is the gateway to many more resources and answers about many tax matters. Try Tax Topics, Tax Trails, Frequently Asked Questions, and the IRS Tax Map.
Taxpayers can easily and quickly view or download any IRS form, publication or instruction booklet by visiting IRS.gov. New this year, taxpayers can download publication 17 for free and view it on most e-Readers and other mobile devices as an eBook. If taxpayers still need printed forms or instructions, they can place their order online at IRS.gov/orderforms. Publication 17, and certain other products like Form 1040 EZ and Form 1099-Misc are not available at TACs this year. Similarly, the tax forms available from community partners, like libraries, have also been reduced.