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How To Get Tax Help
You can get help with unresolved tax issues, order free publications and forms, ask tax questions, and get information from the IRS in several ways. By selecting the method that is best for you, you will have quick and easy access to tax help.
Contacting your Taxpayer Advocate. If you have attempted to deal with an IRS problem unsuccessfully, you should contact your Taxpayer Advocate. The Taxpayer Advocate independently represents your interests and concerns within the IRS by protecting your rights and resolving problems that have not been fixed through normal channels. While Taxpayer Advocates cannot change the tax law or make a technical tax decision, they can clear up problems that resulted from previous contacts and ensure that your case is given a complete and impartial review. To contact your Taxpayer Advocate:
- Call the Taxpayer Advocate toll free at 1-877-777-4778.
- Call, write, or fax the Taxpayer Advocate office in your area.
- Call 1-800-829-4059 if you are a TTY/TDD user.
- Visit www.irs.gov/advocate
For more information, see Publication 1546, How To Get Help With Unresolved Tax Problems (now available in Chinese, Korean, Russian, and Vietnamese, in addition to English and Spanish).
Free tax services. To find out what services are available, get Publication 910, IRS Guide to Free Tax Services. It contains a list of free tax publications and an index of tax topics. It also describes other free tax information services, including tax education and assistance programs and a list of TeleTax topics.
Internet Access. You can access the IRS website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at www.irs.gov to:
- E-file your return. Find out about commercial tax preparation and e-file services available free to eligible taxpayers.
- Check the status of your 2005 refund. Click on Where's My Refund . Be sure to wait at least 6 weeks from the date you filed your return (3 weeks if you filed electronically). Have your 2005 tax return available because you will need to know your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund.
- Download forms, instructions, and publications.
- Order IRS products online.
- Research your tax questions online.
- Search publications online by topic or keyword.
- View Internal Revenue Bulletins (IRBs) published in the last few years.
- Figure your withholding allowances using our Form W-4 calculator.
- Sign up to receive local and national tax news by email.
- Get information on starting and operating a small business.
Phone. Many services are available by phone.
- Ordering forms, instructions, and publications. Call 1-800-829-3676 to order current-year forms, instructions, and publications and prior-year forms and instructions. You should receive your order within 10 days.
- Asking tax questions. Call the IRS with your tax questions at 1-800-829-1040.
- Solving problems. You can get face-to-face help solving tax problems every business day in IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers. An employee can explain IRS letters, request adjustments to your account, or help you set up a payment plan. Call your local Taxpayer Assistance Center for an appointment. To find the number, go to www.irs.gov/localcontacts or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service .
- TTY/TDD equipment. If you have access to TTY/TDD equipment, call 1-800-829-4059 to ask tax questions or to order forms and publications.
- TeleTax topics. Call 1-800-829-4477 and press 2 to listen to pre-recorded messages covering various tax topics.
- Refund information. If you would like to check the status of your 2005 refund, call 1-800-829-4477 and press 1 for automated refund information or call 1-800-829-1954. Be sure to wait at least 6 weeks from the date you filed your return (3 weeks if you filed electronically). Have your 2005 tax return available because you will need to know your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund.
Evaluating the quality of our telephone services. To ensure that IRS representatives give accurate, courteous, and professional answers, we use several methods to evaluate the quality of our telephone services. One method is for a second IRS representative to sometimes listen in on or record telephone calls. Another is to ask some callers to complete a short survey at the end of the call.
Walk-in. Many products and services are available on a walk-in basis.
- Products. You can walk in to many post offices, libraries, and IRS offices to pick up certain forms, instructions, and publications. Some IRS offices, libraries, grocery stores, copy centers, city and county government offices, credit unions, and office supply stores have a collection of products available to print from a CD-ROM or photocopy from reproducible proofs. Also, some IRS offices and libraries have the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, Internal Revenue Bulletins, and Cumulative Bulletins available for research purposes.
- Services. You can walk in to your local Taxpayer Assistance Center every business day for personal, face-to-face tax help. An employee can explain IRS letters, request adjustments to your tax account, or help you set up a payment plan. If you need to resolve a tax problem, have questions about how the tax law applies to your individual tax return, or you're more comfortable talking with someone in person, visit your local Taxpayer Assistance Center where you can spread out your records and talk with an IRS representative face-to-face. No appointment is necessary, but if you prefer, you can call your local Center and leave a message requesting an appointment to resolve a tax account issue. A representative will call you back within 2 business days to schedule an in-person appointment at your convenience. To find the number, go to www.irs.gov/localcontacts or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service .
Mail. You can send your order for forms, instructions, and publications to the address below and receive a response within 10 business days after your request is received.
National Distribution Center
P.O. Box 8903
Bloomington, IL 61702-8903
CD-ROM for tax products. You can order Publication 1796, IRS Tax Products CD-ROM, and obtain:
- A CD that is released twice so you have the latest products. The first release ships in late December and the final release ships in late February.
- Current-year forms, instructions, and publications.
- Prior-year forms, instructions, and publications.
- Tax Map: an electronic research tool and finding aid.
- Tax law frequently asked questions (FAQs).
- Tax Topics from the IRS telephone response system.
- Fill-in, print, and save features for most tax forms.
- Internal Revenue Bulletins.
- Toll-free and email technical support.
Buy the CD-ROM from National Technical Information Service (NTIS) at www.irs.gov/cdorders for $25 (no handling fee) or call 1-877-233-6767 toll free to buy the CD-ROM for $25 (plus a $5 handling fee).
CD-ROM for small businesses. Publication 3207, The Small Business Resource Guide CD-ROM for 2005, has a new look and enhanced navigation features. This year's CD includes:
- Helpful information, such as how to prepare a business plan, find financing for your business, and much more.
- All the business tax forms, instructions, and publications needed to successfully manage a business.
- Tax law changes for 2005.
- IRS Tax Map to help you find forms, instructions, and publications by searching on a keyword or topic.
- Web links to various government agencies, business associations, and IRS organizations.
- " Rate the Product " survey-your opportunity to suggest changes for future editions.
An updated version of this CD is available each year in early April. You can get a free copy by calling 1-800-829-3676 or by visiting www.irs.gov/smallbiz.