Free Tax Help Available


Notice: Historical Content

This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current law, policies or procedures.

Update — The TaxFax Service is no longer available.

FS-2003-1, January 2003

The IRS offers free assistance by computer, telephone, fax and in person. The IRS can assist taxpayers with obtaining forms, publications and answers to a wide range of tax questions. The IRS can also help find free tax preparation for those who qualify.

Personal Computer

Through the Internet, taxpayers can access a wealth of free tax information on the IRS Web site. Taxpayers can check out links such as Forms and Publications to download necessary forms, instructions or publications; get the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) to get answers to questions; and review issues related to Small Business and Self-Employed

Taxpayers may also check on the status of their refund using the Where's My Refund? tool. The will need to enter their Social Security Number, filing status (such as Single or Married Filing Jointly) and the amount of the refund shown on their 2002 tax return. They will then see a Web page that shows the status of their refund check as well as instructions to resolve refund-related problems.


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.

TaxFax Service

Using the phone attached to a fax machine, taxpayers can receive faxed forms and publications by calling 1-703-368-9694 (not a toll-free call). Taxpayers should follow the directions from the prompts. Taxpayers who order forms should enter the catalog number for the form they need. The requested items will then be faxed.


Taxpayers may order current and prior year forms, instructions and publications by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). Taxpayers may ask the IRS 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.

Walk-In Service

Many post offices, libraries and IRS offices have tax publications, forms and instructions available to pick up.

Taxpayer Assistance Centers

Taxpayers needing face-to-face help solving individual or business tax problems can get help every business day in every IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center. Taxpayers can receive assistance with issues such as IRS notices, payment plans, federal tax liens and levies, innocent spouse claims and offers in compromise.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to call ahead for appointments at their convenience or to hear a recorded message with office hours and locations. Local phone numbers for Taxpayer Assistance Centers are available in telephone directories and are posted online.

From January through April 15, many Taxpayer Assistance Centers offer extended evening hours, Saturday service at shopping malls and mobile units/circuit riders in remote communities to make obtaining assistance more convenient for taxpayers during the tax filing season. 

Multilingual assistance provides non-English speaking taxpayers equal access to all services.

Assistance with Returns

Free tax preparation is available through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs in most communities. Volunteers help prepare basic tax 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 1-877-227-7844 to see if there’s a local Tax Aide site.

Braille Tax Material

A variety of Braille material may be ordered at no charge by calling the IRS at 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). The Bralle print files are in .brf format and can be sent directly to an embosser for high-quality Braille output.

Publication 910

To find out what free tax services are available, taxpayers should get IRS Publication 910, Guide to Free Tax Services.