Make the First Stop for Tax Help

Notice: Historical Content

This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current law, policies or procedures.

IRS Tax Tip 2017-30, March 15, 2017

Tax help is available anytime at The official IRS website offers quick access to information and helpful tax tools. Taxpayers may find that is the best “go-to” place for answers to many tax questions.

  • Use IRS Free File. Prepare and e-file federal taxes for free with IRS Free File. Taxpayers who made $64,000 or less can use free brand name tax software. Those who earned more can use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms. Either way, everyone has a free e-file option and the only way to access Free File is on
  • File tax returns electronically. More than 85 percent of taxpayers used IRS e-file to file their tax returns last year. Taxpayers can file electronically, see if they qualify for free volunteer help, do their own taxes or get help from a tax preparer. IRS e-file, which includes Free File, is the easiest, safest and most popular way to file a complete and accurate tax return. The fastest way to get a refund is to combine e-file with direct deposit.
  • Get Help at Any Time. is always available. Go to for federal tax filing needs. The Interactive Tax Assistant tool and the IRS Tax Map answer many tax law questions. View, download or print tax products right away. Many IRS tools and products are also available in Spanish.
  • Find a Tax Preparer. The Directory of Tax Return Preparers tool will search for and sort a list of tax preparers in an area based on the credentials and qualifications preferred.
  • Check on a Refund. Track a refund using ‘Where’s My Refund?’ It’s quick, easy and secure. Taxpayers can check the status of their refund within 24 hours after the IRS has received the e-filed return. For those who file a paper return, check the refund status four weeks after mailing it. Once the IRS approves a refund, the tool will give a date to expect it. The IRS updates refund status for the tool once a day.
  • Pay Taxes Online. Taxpayers who owe taxes can e-file early and set up an automatic, electronic payment until the April 18 deadline. They can pay electronically from their bank account with the IRS Direct Pay tool. has other payment options including electronic funds withdrawal or payment by debit or credit card.  
  • Use the EITC Assistant. Taxpayers who worked and earned less than $53,505 in 2016 may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. The credit can be worth up to $6,269. Taxpayers can use the EITC Assistant tool to see if they are eligible. Eligible taxpayers can use Free File to prepare and file their federal tax return and claim the EITC.
  • Figure Tax Withholding. The IRS Withholding Calculator can help avoid having too much or too little income tax withheld from pay. Use it anytime throughout the year to stay on target.

Taxpayers should keep a copy of their tax return. Beginning in 2017, taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) amount from their prior-year tax return to verify their identity. Taxpayers can learn more about how to verify their identity and electronically sign tax returns at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return.

IRS YouTube Videos:

  • Welcome to Free File – English
  • Interactive Tax Assistant – English| ASL
  • When Will I Get My Refund? – English| Spanish | ASL
  • IRS Taxes – Three Easy Ways to Pay – English | Spanish | ASL
  • IRS Withholding Calculator – English| Spanish | ASL

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