If you have never visited the IRS’ website, it is well worth your time. The website is a comprehensive, educational tool for learning about and assisting you with filing your federal returns. You can find out everything you need to know about filing your income taxes, what to do if you receive a notice from the IRS or how to file an overdue tax return.
Here is the IRS’ own Top Ten list of reasons why you should visit their website:
Don’t wait in line, go online. Point and click your way through the tax season. All you need is a computer and Internet access because the IRS website has a wealth of free information and online tax support. Here are the top 10 reasons to visit http://www.irs.gov.
1. If you find yourself working on your tax return over the weekend, there’s no need to wait to get a form or an answer to a question – visit the IRS website anytime. The website is accessible all day, every day.
2. Use Free File: Let Free File do the hard work for you with brand-name tax software or online fillable forms. It’s exclusively at http://www.irs.gov. Everyone can find an option to prepare their tax return and e-file it for free. 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 http://www.irs.gov/freefile to review your options.
3. Try IRS e-file: After 21 years, IRS e-file has become the safe, easy and most common way to file a tax return. 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. This is your chance to give it a try. IRS e-file is approaching 1 billion returns processed safely and securely. If you owe taxes, you have payment options to file immediately and pay by the tax deadline. Best of all, combine e-file with direct deposit and you get your refund in as few as 10 days. More information about e-file is available at http://www.irs.gov.
4. Check the status of your tax refund. Whether you chose direct deposit or asked the IRS to mail you a check, you can check the status of your refund through Where’s My Refund?
5. Find out how to make payments electronically. 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 to pay your federal taxes. Electronic payment options are a convenient, safe and secure way to pay taxes.
6. Find out if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. EITC is a tax credit for many people who earned less than $49,000. Find out if you are eligible by answering some questions and providing basic income information using the EITC Assistant.
7. Get tax forms and publications. You can view and download tax forms and publications any hour of the day or night.
8. Calculate the right amount of withholding on your W-4. The IRS Withholding Calculator will help you ensure that you don’t have too much or too little income tax withheld from your pay.
9. Request a payment agreement. Paying your taxes in full and on time avoids unnecessary penalties and interest. However, if you cannot pay your balance in full you may be eligible to use the Online Payment Agreement Application to request an installment agreement.
10. Get information about 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 or business taxpayers.
Remember the address of the official IRS website is http://www.irs.gov. Don’t be confused by Internet sites that end in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov.