Free Tax Help Available
FS-2005-2, January 2005
The IRS offers free assistance by computer, fax, telephone and in person. The IRS can help taxpayers get forms and publications and answer a wide range of tax questions. The IRS can also help find free tax preparation services for those who qualify.
On IRS.gov, the IRS Web site, taxpayers can access a wealth of free tax information. Taxpayers should check out 1040 Central, a special section of the Web site that has all the help, updates and information taxpayers need to prepare and file their returns. Taxpayers can readily access necessary forms, instructions or publications; get answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs); and use the new EITC Assistant to find out whether they qualify for the earned income tax credit.
Taxpayers may also check their refund status using IRS.gov’s “Where's My Refund?” tool. They will need to enter a Social Security number, filing status (such as single or married filing jointly) and the amount of the refund shown on their 2004 tax return. They will then see a Web page that shows the status of their refund payment as well as instructions to resolve refund-related problems.
Taxpayers may also order current and prior year forms, instructions and publications by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). Taxpayers may ask tax questions by calling the toll-free customer service line at 1-800-829-1040. TTY/TDD users may call 1-800-829-4059 to ask tax questions or to order forms and publications.
Taxpayers may call 1-800-829-4477 to hear pre-recorded messages covering various tax topics or to check on the status of their refund. TeleTax topics, which range from “IRS assistance” to “who must file,” are listed on pages 8 and 9 of the Form 1040 Instruction booklet, available at IRS.gov — just type “1040” in the forms and publications search box.
Tax Forms and Publications Walk-In Service
Many post offices, libraries and IRS offices have tax publications, forms and instructions available to pick up. Electronic kiosks containing commonly-used forms (Form 1040 series) and tax information are available in some locations. Check “Contact My Local Office” on IRS.gov for availability by state.
Taxpayer Assistance Centers
IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers are taxpayers’ source for personal, face-to-face tax help. Taxpayers who have complex issues, need to resolve a tax problem, or are more comfortable talking with someone in person can visit a local Taxpayer Assistance Center. IRS representatives in these offices can help with inquiries or adjustments to tax accounts, payment plans for those who owe tax and cannot pay the full amount, questions about IRS letters and notices, and levies on wages or bank accounts.
Although appointments are not necessary, taxpayers may call ahead to leave messages requesting convenient appointments to resolve tax issues, or to hear recorded messages with office hours and addresses. Local phone numbers for Taxpayer Assistance Centers are in telephone directories and are posted at “Contact My Local Office."
The IRS provides non-English-speaking taxpayers equal access to all Taxpayer Assistance Center services through a phone interpreter.
Assistance with Returns
Free tax preparation is available through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs in many communities. Volunteers help prepare basic returns for taxpayers with low or limited incomes. Call 1-800-829-1040 to find the VITA or TCE site nearest you. Taxpayers may also call AARP — the largest TCE participant — at 1-888-227-7669 to find the closest Tax Aide site.
Braille Tax Material
A variety of Braille materials may be ordered at no charge by calling the IRS at 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). The Braille print files are in .brf format and can be sent directly to an embosser for high-quality Braille output.
For a comprehensive listing of free tax services, taxpayers should get IRS Publication 910, Guide to Free Tax Services.
- Contact My Local Office
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly
- Publication 910, Guide to Free Tax Services (PDF 636K)