12.   How To Get More Information

This section describes the help the IRS and other federal agencies offer to taxpayers who operate their own businesses.

How To Get Tax Help

If you have questions about a tax issue, need help preparing your tax return, or want to download free publications, forms, or instructions, go to IRS.gov and find resources that can help you right away.

Preparing and filing your tax return.    Find free options to prepare and file your return on IRS.gov or in your local community if you qualify.
  • Go to IRS.gov and click on the Filing tab to see your options.

  • Enter “Free File” in the search box to see whether you can use brand-name software to prepare and e-file your federal tax return for free.

  • Enter “VITA” in the search box, download the free IRS2Go app, or call 1-800-906-9887 to find the nearest Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) location for free tax preparation.

  • Enter “TCE” in the search box, download the free IRS2Go app, or call 1-888-227-7669 to find the nearest Tax Counseling for the Elderly location for free tax preparation.

  The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and limited-English-speaking taxpayers who need help preparing their own tax returns. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older. TCE volunteers specialize in answering questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.

Getting answers to your tax law questions. On IRS.gov, get answers to your tax questions anytime, anywhere.

  • Go to www.irs.gov/Help-&-Resources for a variety of tools that will help you with your taxes.

  • Enter “ITA” in the search box on IRS.gov for the Interactive Tax Assistant, a tool that will ask you questions on a number of tax law topics and provide answers. You can print the entire interview and the final response.

  • Enter “Pub 17” in the search box on IRS.gov to get Pub. 17, Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals, which features details on tax-saving opportunities, 2015 tax changes, and thousands of interactive links to help you find answers to your questions.

  • Additionally, you may be able to access tax law information in your electronic filing software.

Tax forms and publications.    You can download or print all of the forms and publications you may need on www.irs.gov/formspubs. Otherwise, you can go to www.irs.gov/orderforms to place an order and have forms mailed to you. You should receive your order within 10 business days.

Direct Deposit.   The fastest way to receive a tax refund is by combining direct deposit and IRS e-file. Direct deposit securely and electronically transfers your refund directly into your financial account. Eight in 10 taxpayers use direct deposit to receive their refund. The majority of refunds are received within 21 days or less.

Getting a transcript or copy of a return.   
  • Go to IRS.gov and click on “Get Transcript of Your Tax Records” under “Tools.

  • Call the transcript toll-free line at 1-800-908-9946.

  • Mail Form 4506-T or Form 4506T-EZ (both available on IRS.gov).

Using online tools to help prepare your return.   Go to IRS.gov and click on the Tools bar to use these and other self-service options.

  For help with the alternative minimum tax, go to IRS.gov/AMT.

Understanding identity theft issues.   

Checking on the status of a refund.   
  • Go to www.irs.gov/refunds.

  • Download the free IRS2Go app to your smart phone and use it to check your refund status.

  • Call the automated refund hotline at 1-800-829-1954.

Making a tax payment.   The IRS uses the latest encryption technology so electronic payments are safe and secure. You can make electronic payments online, by phone, or from a mobile device. Paying electronically is quick, easy, and faster than mailing in a check or money order. Go to www.irs.gov/payments to make a payment using any of the following options.
  • IRS Direct Pay (for individual taxpayers who have a checking or savings account).

  • Debit or credit card (approved payment processors online or by phone).

  • Electronic Funds Withdrawal (available during e-file).

  • Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (best option for businesses; enrollment required).

  • Check or money order.

  IRS2Go provides access to mobile-friendly payment options like IRS Direct Pay, offering you a free, secure way to pay directly from your bank account. You can also make debit or credit card payments through an approved payment processor. Simply download IRS2Go from Google Play, the Apple App Store, or the Amazon Appstore, and make your payments anytime, anywhere.

What if I can’t pay now?    Click on the “Pay Your Tax Bill” icon on IRS.gov for more information about these additional options.
  • Apply for an online payment agreement to meet your tax obligation in monthly installments if you cannot pay your taxes in full today. Once you complete the online process, you will receive immediate notification of whether your agreement has been approved.

  • An offer in compromise allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe. Use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier to confirm your eligibility.

Checking the status of an amended return.    Go to IRS.gov and click on the Tools tab and then Where’s My Amended Return?

Understanding an IRS notice or letter.    Enter “Understanding your notice” in the search box on IRS.gov to find additional information about your IRS notice or letter.

Visiting the IRS.    Locate the nearest Taxpayer Assistance Center using the Office Locator tool on IRS.gov. Enter “office locator” in the search box. Or choose the “Contact Us” option on the IRS2Go app and search Local Offices. Before you visit, use the Locator tool to check hours and services available.

Watching IRS videos.    The IRS Video portal www.irsvideos.gov contains video and audio presentations for individuals, small businesses, and tax professionals. You’ll find video clips of tax topics, archived versions of panel discussions and Webinars, and audio archives of tax practitioner phone forums.

Getting tax information in other languages.    For taxpayers whose native language is not English, we have the following resources available.
  1. Taxpayers can find information on IRS.gov in the following languages.

  2. The IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers provide over-the-phone interpreter service in over 170 languages, and the service is available free to taxpayers.

The Taxpayer Advocate Service Is Here To Help You

What is the Taxpayer Advocate Service?

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the Internal Revenue Service that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayer rights. Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly and that you know and understand your rights under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

What Can the Taxpayer Advocate Service Do For You?

We can help you resolve problems that you can’t resolve with the IRS. And our service is free. If you qualify for our assistance, you will be assigned to one advocate who will work with you throughout the process and will do everything possible to resolve your issue. TAS can help you if:

  • Your problem is causing financial difficulty for you, your family, or your business,

  • You face (or your business is facing) an immediate threat of adverse action, or

  • You’ve tried repeatedly to contact the IRS but no one has responded, or the IRS hasn’t responded by the date promised.

How Can You Reach Us?

We have offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Your local advocate’s number is in your local directory and at www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov. You can also call us at 1-877-777-4778.

How Can You Learn About Your Taxpayer Rights?

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights describes ten basic rights that all taxpayers have when dealing with the IRS. Our Tax Toolkit at www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov can help you understand what these rights mean to you and how they apply. These are your rights. Know them. Use them.

How Else Does the Taxpayer Advocate Service Help Taxpayers?

TAS works to resolve large-scale problems that affect many taxpayers. If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us at www.irs.gov/sams.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) serve individuals whose income is below a certain level and need to resolve tax problems such as audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes. Some clinics can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. To find a clinic near you, visit www.irs.gov/litc or see IRS Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.

Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers training and educational programs, counseling services, financial programs, and contract assistance for small business owners. The SBA also has publications and videos on a variety of business topics. The following briefly describes assistance provided by the SBA.

Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs).   SBDCs provide counseling, training, and technical services to current and prospective small business owners who cannot afford the services of a private consultant. Help is available when beginning, improving, or expanding a small business.

Business Information Centers (BICs).   BICs offer a small business reference library, management video tapes, and computer technology to help plan a business. BICs also offer one-on-one assistance. Individuals who are in business or are interested in starting a business can use BICs as often as they wish at no charge.

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE).   SCORE provides small business counseling and training to current and prospective small business owners. SCORE is made up of current and former business people who offer their expertise and knowledge to help people start, manage, and expand a small business. SCORE also offers a variety of small business workshops.

Internet.    You can visit the SBA website at 
www.sba.gov. While visiting the SBA website, you can find a variety of information of interest to small business owners.

Phone.    Call the SBA Answer Desk at 1-800-U-ASK-SBA (1-800-827-5722) for general information about programs available to assist small business owners.

Walk-in.   You can walk in to a Small Business Development Center or Business Information Center to request assistance with your small business. To find the location nearest you, visit the SBA website or call the SBA Answer Desk.

Other Federal Agencies

Other federal agencies also publish publications and pamphlets to assist small businesses. Most of these are available from the Superintendent of Documents at the Government Printing Office. You can get information and order these publications and pamphlets in several ways.

Internet.   You can visit the GPO website at  

Mail.   Write to the GPO at the following address.

Superintendent of Documents 
U.S. Government Printing Office 
P.O. Box 979050 
St. Louis, MO 63917-9000

Phone.   Call the GPO toll-free at 1-866-512-1800 or at 202-512-1800 from the Washington, DC, area.

More Online Publications