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Avoid the Rush: Today Marks Busiest Phone Day of the Year; Taxpayers Get Answers Faster by Visiting IRS.gov

IR-2018-31, Feb. 20, 2018

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service alerted taxpayers the day after Presidents Day marks the busiest day of the year for calls to the toll-free help line. The IRS reminded taxpayers that most answers to their tax questions can be quickly found on IRS.gov.

Taxpayers who call the IRS the day after Presidents Day can expect longer than usual wait times. Those who need to call can avoid the rush by waiting a day or two or by using online options to get their tax questions answered immediately.

To help taxpayers, the IRS has redesigned its website to make it easier to use, whether with a computer, smart phone or tablet. A good first stop is the IRS Services Guide, which provides an overview of the many IRS.gov tools available to taxpayers and tax professionals. For fast answers to general tax questions, taxpayers can search the Interactive Tax Assistant, Tax Topics, Frequently Asked Questions, Tax Trails and IRS Tax Map.

Those who have already filed can use the "Where’s My Refund?" tool to track their refund. Alternatively, they can call 800-829-1954 for automated refund information.

“Where’s My Refund?” is the best way to check the status of a refund. The application displays progress through three stages: (1) Return Received, (2) Refund Approved, and (3) Refund Sent. Taxpayers get personalized information based on the processing of their tax return. The tool provides an actual refund date after the IRS has approved a refund.

The IRS reminded taxpayers about a common misconception that requesting a tax transcript will help a taxpayer determine the status of their refund. The information included on a transcript does not necessarily reflect the amount or timing of a refund. Transcripts are best used to validate past income and tax filing status for loan applications and to help with tax preparation.

Taxpayers visiting IRS.gov will also find answers to tax questions about filing requirements and credits and deductions that may be available to them and can download forms and instructions. Taxpayers who owe additional tax can learn about payment options or what steps they can take online to create a payment agreement if they can’t pay what they owe all at once.

Employees who did not receive a Form W-2 from their employer should first contact their employer. If they receive no response by the end of February, they can call the IRS and the agency will contact the employer by mail. Taxpayers may have to use Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, and estimate wages and withholding by using their pay statements and other records.

Taxpayers must file their 2017 tax returns by April 17, 2018, or request a six-month extension. Extensions can be requested using Free File, by filing Form 4868 or by paying all or part of  the estimated income tax due and indicating that the payment is for an extension using Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) or a credit or debit card. Taxpayers don’t have to file a separate extension form and they receive a confirmation number for their records.