Get answers to some tax questions without calling IRS

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Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2014 12:00 am

Presidents Day is one of the busiest times for Internal Revenue Service phone lines. So the IRS suggests some alternatives to ease the wait. Here are some of the most common taxpayer questions and quick ways to get answers 24/7:

» What is the status of my refund?

The IRS will issue most refunds in less than 21 days. You can check the status of your refund by using Where's My Refund? on IRS.gov or the newly updated smartphone app, IRS2Go. You'll need certain information from your tax return to get the status of your refund. The information is updated once a day.

» What if I didn't get a Form W-2?

Employers are required to send to their employees a Form W-2, Statement of Earnings, by Jan. 31. If you don't get a W-2 by mid-February, you should first contact your employer to make sure they have your correct address on file. After exhausting all options with your employer, you may contact the IRS and we will send a letter to the employer. However, the IRS asks that you call after Presidents Day week to avoid long telephone wait times.

» Can I get a copy of my tax return or transcript?

You can easily order a copy of a return or transcript on the IRS.gov website, on the IRS2Go smartphone app or by mailing the IRS a completed Form 4506-T.

» What if I can't pay my tax bill?

If you owe taxes but can't pay, use the Online Payment Agreement tool. It can help you determine in a matter of minutes whether you qualify for an installment agreement with the IRS. There is also an Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier for those whose tax obligations are more serious. This tool helps determine if you qualify for an agreement with the IRS to settle your tax liability for less than the full amount owed.

» Where can I get help preparing my taxes?

Try the IRS Free File program. You get to choose brand name software to e-file your taxes for free. Also, there are free tax preparation sites available nationwide from IRS-certified volunteers. Find a location nearby by searching “Free Tax Help” on IRS.gov. Certain income limitations apply.

» What if I have tax law questions?

If you are wondering whether to file a tax return or who to claim as a dependent, start by typing a simple keyword search on IRS.gov. You can also use Publication 17, the annual, searchable income tax guide. Or try the IRS Tax Map, where you can search by topic or keyword to get tax information. Taxpayers can even call TeleTax at 1-800-829-4477 for a recording of information on a variety of general and business tax topics.

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