IRS.gov Offers a Clearinghouse of Tax Season Resources
April 12, 2019
By Timothy P. Speiss
With the federal tax-filing deadline upon us, and with many taxpayers extending their tax returns past April 15, IRS Notice IR 2019-67 (released April 9) reminds taxpayers they have a variety of options to help them prepare and file their 2018 federal tax returns. The IRS encourages taxpayers to make their first stop IRS.gov, where they can obtain answers to many of the most common taxpayer questions, such as how to make tax payments and how to get forms and instructions. Online help is available for individual taxpayers and tax professionals alike. In fact, the IRS website has had more than 358 million page views this tax-filing season alone.
A Wealth of Information Available
Taxpayers have quick access to IRS online resources such as File, Pay, Refunds, Credits & Deductions, and Forms & Instructions. Additional links give taxpayers one-click access to the Help page, News Center, content in other languages, nonprofit information, and more. For example, a handy Withholding Calculator can help taxpayers determine if they’re having enough taxes withheld from their paychecks.
Links to IRS YouTube videos gives hands-on instruction on how to file extensions, avoid common errors, and establish tax and payment options. IRS Free File is a special service available on IRS.gov or the IRS2Go mobile app that allows taxpayers to use a smartphone or tablet to prepare and file their tax returns. Taxpayers can use IRS2go to check their refund status, make a payment or access other helpful tools. Best of all, more than 70% of taxpayers qualify for free IRS Free File tax software.
And for quick answers to general tax questions, taxpayers and tax professionals can search the IRS Services Guide which includes the Interactive Tax Assistant, Tax Topics, Frequently Asked Questions, Tax Trails and IRS Tax Map.
With enhanced IRS security, taxpayers can utilize a secure identity authentication process to access information about their federal tax account, view the amount they owe, pay online, or create an online payment agreement. They can also safely access their tax records online, review the past 18 months’ payment history, and view key tax return information for the current year as filed.
With major changes resulting from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, taxpayers seeking more information on tax reform should consult “Publication 5307, Tax Reform: Basics for Individuals and Families;” and “Publication 5318, Tax Reform: What’s New for Your Business.” For other tips and resources, visit IRS.gov/taxreform or check out the Get Ready page on IRS.gov.
Finally, with advanced search tools, taxpayers have an intuitive way to explore the large variety of content on the IRS site by content type, taxpayer audience type, and archived content. There are additional on-line resources for individuals, businesses and tax professionals.