Navigate your way through the tax season online and skip waiting in line. 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. Unlimited access – get answers 24 hours a day, seven days a week 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; it’s accessible all day, every day. You’ll find answers to many frequently asked questions, and the helpful Interactive Tax Assistant is a tax law resource that takes you through a series of questions and provides you with responses to tax law questions. Much of the website and many forms and publications are also available in Spanish.
2. Use Free File Let Free File do the hard work for you with brand-name tax software or online fillable forms. It’s available 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 $57,000 or less, you qualify to use free tax software 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 IRS e-file is the safe, easy and most common way to file a tax return. Last year, 78 percent of taxpayers – 112 million people -used IRS e-file. Many tax preparers are now required to use e-file If you owe taxes, you have payment options to file immediately and pay by the tax deadline. Best of all, the IRS issues refunds to 98 percent of electronic filers by direct deposit within 14 days, if there are no problems, and some may be issued in as few as 10 days.
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. 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 in 2011. 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 can help ensure 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.