It’s that time of the year again; the income-tax-filing season has begun on January 1 and important tax documents should be arriving in the mail. Deadline Extended to April 18; Taxpayers Impacted by Recent Tax Breaks Can File Starting in Mid- to Late February.
Here are some tips that can help the tax-filing process run smoother.
Start gathering your records: Round up documents or forms you’ll need when filing your taxes, such as receipts, canceled checks and other documents that support income or deductions you’re claiming. Your W-2s and 1099s will be coming soon; you’ll need these to file your return.
Use Free File: Free File offers the use of brand-name tax software or online fillable forms (depending on your income level) at irs.gov/www.irs.gov. If you made $58,000 or less, you qualify for free tax software that is offered through a private-public partnership with manufacturers. If you made more or are comfortable preparing your own tax return, there’s Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic versions of IRS paper forms. Visit www.irs.gov/freefile to review your options.
Try IRS e-file: Last year, 70 percent of taxpayers — 99 million people — used IRS e-file. Starting in 2011, many tax preparers will be required to use e-file and will explain your filing options to you. Combine e-file with direct deposit and you get your refund in as few as 10 days.
Consider other options: There are many options for filing your tax return.You can prepare it yourself or go to a tax preparer.You may be eligible for free face-to-face help at an IRS office or volunteer site. Remember 17: Check out IRS Publication 17, „Your Federal Income Tax“ on the IRS website. It’s a comprehensive collection of filing information for taxpayers.
Free tax preparation is available
Volunteer Tax Preparers – is available through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) sites in many communities.
Taxpayer Assistance Centers – are available to taxpayers who believe their personal tax issues cannot be handled online or by phone, and who need face-to-face assistance.
Тax Forms and Publications Walk-In Service – All the official tax forms and publications are available for free downloading 24/7 at www.IRS.gov. Taxpayers can pick up some of the most-requested forms, instructions and publications at many IRS offices, post offices and libraries. Also, some grocery stores, copy centers, city and county offices and credit unions have reproducible tax form products available to photocopy.
Low Income Taxpayer Clinics – (LITCs) are independent organizations that provide low income taxpayers with representation in federal tax controversies with the IRS for free or for a nominal charge. The clinics also provide tax education and outreach for taxpayers with limited English proficiency
Braille Tax Material – A variety of Braille materials can be downloaded from irs.gov and may also be available at libraries that have special services for people with disabilities.
Taxpayer Advocate Service – (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS that assists taxpayers who are experiencing economic harm and seek help in resolving tax problems that have not been solved through normal channels.