Publication 524 - Main Content


Are You Eligible for the Credit?

You can take the credit for the elderly or the disabled if you meet both of the following requirements.

  • You are a qualified individual.

  • Your income isn't more than certain limits.

You can use Figure A and Table 1 as guides to see if you are eligible for the credit. Use Figure A first to see if you are a qualified individual. If you are, go to Table 1 to make sure your income isn't too high to take the credit.

You can take the credit only if you file Form 1040 or Form 1040A. You can't take the credit if you file Form 1040EZ or Form 1040NR.

Qualified Individual

You are a qualified individual for this credit if you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, and either of the following applies.

  1. You were age 65 or older at the end of 2015.

  2. You were under age 65 at the end of 2015 and all three of the following statements are true.

    1. You retired on permanent and total disability (explained later).

    2. You received taxable disability income for 2015.

    3. On January 1, 2015, you had not reached mandatory retirement age (defined later under Disability income ).

Age 65.   You are considered to be age 65 on the day before your 65th birthday. As a result, if you were born on January 1, 1951, you are considered to be age 65 at the end of 2015.

Death of taxpayer.   If you are preparing a return for someone who died in 2015, consider the taxpayer to be age 65 at the end of 2015 if he or she was age 65 or older on the day before their death. For example, if the taxpayer was born on February 14, 1950 and died on February 13, 2015, the taxpayer is considered age 65 at the time of death. However, if the taxpayer died on February 12, 2015, the taxpayer isn't considered age 65 at the time of death or at the end of 2015.

U.S. Citizen or Resident Alien

You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien (or be treated as a resident alien) to take the credit. Generally, you can't take the credit if you were a nonresident alien at any time during the tax year.

Exceptions.   You may be able to take the credit if you are a nonresident alien who is married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien at the end of the tax year and you and your spouse choose to treat you as a U.S. resident alien. If you make that choice, both you and your spouse are taxed on your worldwide incomes.

  If you were a nonresident alien at the beginning of the year and a resident alien at the end of the year, and you were married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien at the end of the year, you may be able to choose to be treated as a U.S. resident alien for the entire year. In that case, you may be allowed to take the credit.

  For information on these choices, see chapter 1 of Pub. 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.

Married Persons

Generally, if you are married at the end of the tax year, you and your spouse must file a joint return to take the credit. However, if you and your spouse didn't live in the same household at any time during the tax year, you can file either a joint return or separate returns and still take the credit.

Head of household.   You can file as head of household and qualify to take the credit, even if your spouse lived with you during the first 6 months of the year, if you meet all the following tests.
  1. You file a separate return.

  2. You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home during the tax year.

  3. Your spouse didn't live in your home at any time during the last 6 months of the tax year and the absence wasn't temporary. (See Temporary absences under Head of Household in Pub. 501.)

  4. Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or an eligible foster child for more than half the year. An eligible foster child is a child placed with you by an authorized placement agency or by judgment, decree, or other order of any court of competent jurisdiction.

  5. You can claim an exemption for that child, or you can't claim the exemption only because the noncustodial parent can claim the child using the rules for children of divorced or separated parents.

For more information, see Pub. 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.

Figure A. Are You a Qualified Individual?

Under Age 65

If you are under age 65 at the end of 2015, you can qualify for the credit only if you are retired on permanent and total disability (discussed next) and have taxable disability income (discussed later under Disability income ). You are retired on permanent and total disability if:

  • You were permanently and totally disabled when you retired, and

  • You retired on disability before the close of the tax year.

Even if you don't retire formally, you may be considered retired on disability when you have stopped working because of your disability.

If you retired on disability before 1977, and weren't permanently and totally disabled at the time, you can qualify for the credit if you were permanently and totally disabled on January 1, 1976, or January 1, 1977.

You are considered to be under age 65 at the end of 2015 if you were born after January 1, 1951.

Permanent and total disability.    You are permanently and totally disabled if you can't engage in any substantial gainful activity because of your physical or mental condition. A qualified physician must certify that the condition has lasted or can be expected to last continuously for 12 months or more, or that the condition can be expected to result in death. See Physician's statement , later.

Substantial gainful activity.   Substantial gainful activity is the performance of significant duties over a reasonable period of time while working for pay or profit, or in work generally done for pay or profit. Full-time work (or part-time work done at your employer's convenience) in a competitive work situation for at least the minimum wage conclusively shows that you are able to engage in substantial gainful activity.

  Substantial gainful activity isn't work you do to take care of yourself or your home. It isn't unpaid work on hobbies, institutional therapy or training, school attendance, clubs, social programs, and similar activities. However, the nature of the work you perform may show that you are able to engage in substantial gainful activity.

   The fact that you haven't worked for some time isn't, of itself, conclusive evidence that you can't engage in substantial gainful activity.

  The following examples illustrate the tests of substantial gainful activity.

Example 1.

Trisha, a sales clerk, retired on disability. She is 53 years old and now works as a full-time babysitter for the minimum wage. Even though Trisha is doing different work, she is able to do the duties of her new job in a full-time competitive work situation for the minimum wage. She can't take the credit because she is able to engage in substantial gainful activity.

Example 2.

Tom, a bookkeeper, retired on disability. He is 59 years old and now drives a truck for a charitable organization. He sets his own hours and isn't paid. Duties of this nature generally are performed for pay or profit. Some weeks he works 10 hours, and some weeks he works 40 hours. Over the year he averages 20 hours a week. The kind of work and his average hours a week conclusively show that Tom is able to engage in substantial gainful activity. This is true even though Tom isn't paid and he sets his own hours. He can't take the credit.

Example 3.

John, who retired on disability, took a job with a former employer on a trial basis. The purpose of the job was to see if John could do the work. The trial period lasted for 6 months during which John was paid the minimum wage. Because of John's disability, he was assigned only light duties of a nonproductive “make-work” nature. The activity was gainful because John was paid at least the minimum wage. But the activity wasn't substantial because his duties were nonproductive. These facts don't, by themselves, show that John is able to engage in substantial gainful activity.

Example 4.

Joan, who retired on disability from a job as a bookkeeper, lives with her sister who manages several motel units. Joan helps her sister for 1 or 2 hours a day by performing duties such as washing dishes, answering phones, registering guests, and bookkeeping. Joan can select the time of day when she feels most fit to work. Work of this nature, performed off and on during the day at Joan's convenience, isn't activity of a “substantial and gainful” nature even if she is paid for the work. The performance of these duties doesn't, of itself, show that Joan is able to engage in substantial gainful activity.

Sheltered employment.   Certain work offered at qualified locations to physically or mentally impaired persons is considered sheltered employment. These qualified locations include work centers that are certified by the Department of Labor (formerly referred to as sheltered workshops), hospitals and similar institutions, homebound programs, and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) sponsored homes.

  Compared to commercial employment, pay is lower for sheltered employment. Therefore, one usually doesn't look for sheltered employment if he or she can get other employment. The fact that one has accepted sheltered employment isn't proof of the person's ability to engage in substantial gainful activity.

Physician's statement.   If you are under age 65, you must have your physician complete a statement certifying that you were permanently and totally disabled on the date you retired. You can use the statement in the Instructions for Schedule R.

  You don't have to file this statement with your Form 1040 or Form 1040A, but you must keep it for your records.

Veterans.    If the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) certifies that you are permanently and totally disabled, you can substitute VA Form 21-0172, Certification of Permanent and Total Disability, for the physician's statement you are required to keep. VA Form 21-0172 must be signed by a person authorized by the VA to do so. You can get this form from your local VA regional office.

Physician's statement obtained in earlier year.   If you got a physician's statement in an earlier year and, due to your continued disabled condition, you were unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity during 2015, you may not need to get another physician's statement for 2015. For a detailed explanation of the conditions you must meet, see the instructions for Schedule R, Part II. If you meet the required conditions, check the box on your Schedule R, Part II, line 2.

  If you checked box 4, 5, or 6 in Part I of Schedule R, enter in the space above the box on line 2 in Part II the first name(s) of the spouse(s) for whom the box is checked.

Disability income.   If you are under age 65, you must also have taxable disability income to qualify for the credit. Disability income must meet both of the following requirements.
  1. It must be paid under your employer's accident or health plan or pension plan.

  2. It must be included in your income as wages (or payments instead of wages) for the time you are absent from work because of permanent and total disability.

Payments that aren't disability income.    Any payment you receive from a plan that doesn't provide for disability retirement isn't disability income. Any lump-sum payment for accrued annual leave that you receive when you retire on disability is a salary payment and isn't disability income.

   For purposes of the credit for the elderly or the disabled, disability income doesn't include amounts you receive after you reach mandatory retirement age. Mandatory retirement age is the age set by your employer at which you would have had to retire, had you not become disabled.

Income Limits

To determine if you can claim the credit, you must consider two income limits. The first limit is the amount of your adjusted gross income (AGI). The second limit is the amount of nontaxable social security and other nontaxable pensions, annuities, or disability income you received. The limits are shown in Table 1.

If your AGI and your nontaxable pensions, annuities, or disability income are less than the income limits, you may be able to claim the credit. See Figuring the Credit Yourself , later.

Table 1. Income Limits

IF your filing status is... THEN, even if you qualify (see Figure A), you CAN'T take the credit if...
  Your adjusted gross income (AGI)* is equal to or more than...     OR the total of your nontaxable social security and other nontaxable pension(s), annuities, or disability income is equal to or more than...  
single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child   $17,500     $5,000  
married filing jointly and only one spouse qualifies in Figure A   $20,000     $5,000  
married filing jointly and both spouses qualify in Figure A   $25,000     $7,500  
married filing separately and you lived apart from your spouse for all of 2015   $12,500     $3,750  
* AGI is the amount on Form 1040A, line 22 or Form 1040, line 38.

If your AGI or your nontaxable pensions, annuities, or disability income are equal to or more than the income limits, you can't take the credit.

Credit Figured for You

You can figure the credit yourself or the IRS will figure it for you. If you want to figure the credit yourself, skip this section and follow the instructions in Figuring the Credit Yourself , later.

If you can take the credit and you want the IRS to figure the credit for you, attach Schedule R to your return. Check the appropriate box in Part I of Schedule R and fill in Part II and lines 11, 13a, and 13b of Part III, if they apply to you.

If you file Form 1040A, enter “CFE” in the space to the left of Form 1040A, line 32. If you file Form 1040, check box c on Form 1040, line 54, and enter “CFE” on the line next to that box. Attach Schedule R to your return.

Table 2. Initial Amounts

IF your filing status is...   THEN enter on line 10 of Schedule R...
single,head of household, or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child and, by the end of 2015, you were    
  65 or older $5,000
  under 65 and retired on permanent and total disability1 $5,000
married filing a joint return and by the end of 2015    
  both of you were 65 or older $7,500
  both of you were under 65 and one of you retired on permanent and total disability1 $5,000
  both of you were under 65 and both of you retired on permanent and total disability2 $7,500
  one of you was 65 or older, and the other was under 65 and retired on permanent  
and total disability3
$7,500
  one of you was 65 or older, and the other was under 65 and not retired on permanent  
and total disability
$5,000
married filing a separate return and you didn't live with your spouse at any time during the year and, by the end of 2015, you were    
  65 or older $3,750
  under 65 and retired on permanent and total disability1 $3,750
  1 Amount can't be more than the taxable disability income.  
  2 Amount can't be more than your combined taxable disability income.  
  3 Amount is $5,000 plus the taxable disability income of the spouse under age 65, but not more than $7,500.  

Figuring the Credit Yourself

To figure the credit yourself, first check the box in Part I of Schedule R that applies to you. Only check one box in Part I. If you check box 2, 4, 5, 6, or 9 in Part I, also complete Part II of Schedule R.

Next, figure the amount of your credit using Part III of Schedule R. Steps 1 through 5 in this section can help you figure this amount.

Finally, report the amount from line 22 of Schedule R on your tax return. If you file Form 1040A, enter the amount from Schedule R, line 22 on line 32. If you file Form 1040, include the amount from Schedule R, line 22 on line 54, check box c, and enter “Sch R” on the line next to that box.

There are five steps in Part III to determine the amount of your credit.

  1. Determine your initial amount (lines 10–12).

  2. Determine the total of any nontaxable social security and certain other nontaxable pensions, annuities, and disability benefits you received (lines 13a, 13b, and 13c).

  3. Determine your excess adjusted gross income (lines 14–17).

  4. Determine the total of Steps 2 and 3 (line 18).

  5. Determine your credit (lines 19–22).

These steps are discussed in more detail next.

Step 1. Determine Initial Amount

To figure the credit, you must first determine your initial amount using lines 10 through 12. Your initial amount depends on your filing status and, if you are under age 65, the amount of your taxable disability income. Table 2 shows the initial amount for each filing status. The initial amount for qualified individuals under age 65 may be less than the amount shown for a filing status; see Initial amounts for persons under age 65 , next.

Initial amounts for persons under age 65.   If you are a qualified individual under age 65, your initial amount can't be more than your taxable disability income. Your initial amount will be the lesser of the initial amount shown on Table 2 for your filing status or your taxable disability income.

Special rules for joint returns.    If you file a joint return and both you and your spouse are qualified individuals, the initial amount you report for yourself and your spouse on Schedule R will depend on whether only one of you is (or both of you are) under age 65.

  If only one of you is under age 65, your initial amount can't be more than $5,000 plus the taxable disability income of the spouse who is under age 65.

  If both you and your spouse are under age 65, the initial amount for you and your spouse can't be more than your combined taxable disability income.

Step 2. Total Certain Nontaxable Pensions and Benefits

Step 2 is to figure the total amount of nontaxable social security and certain other nontaxable payments you received during the year. You must reduce the initial amount you determined in Step 1 by these payments.

Enter these nontaxable payments on lines 13a or 13b and total them on line 13c. If you are married filing jointly, you must enter the combined amount of nontaxable payments both you and your spouse received.

Worksheets are provided in the instructions for Forms 1040 and 1040A to help you determine if any of your social security benefits (or equivalent railroad retirement benefits) are taxable.

Include the following nontaxable payments in the amounts you enter on lines 13a and 13b.

  • Nontaxable social security payments. This is the nontaxable part of the benefits shown in box 5 of Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement, before deducting any amounts withheld to pay premiums on supplementary Medicare insurance, and before any reduction because of benefits received under workers' compensation. (Don't include a lump-sum death benefit payment you may receive as a surviving spouse, or a surviving child's insurance benefit payments you may receive as a guardian.)

  • Nontaxable railroad retirement pension payments treated as social security. This is the nontaxable part of the benefits shown in box 5 of Form RRB-1099, Payments by the Railroad Retirement Board.

  • Nontaxable pension or annuity payments or disability benefits that are paid under a law administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). (Don't include amounts received as a pension, annuity, or similar allowance for personal injuries or sickness resulting from active service in the armed forces of any country or in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or the Public Health Service, or as a disability annuity under section 808 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980.)

  • Pension or annuity payments or disability benefits that are excluded from income under any provision of federal law other than the Internal Revenue Code. (Don't include amounts that are a return of your cost of a pension or annuity. These amounts don't reduce your initial amount.)

You should be sure to take into account all of the nontaxable amounts you receive. These amounts are verified by the IRS through information supplied by other government agencies.

Step 3. Determine Excess Adjusted Gross Income

You also must reduce the initial amount you determined in Step 1 by your excess adjusted gross income. Figure your excess adjusted gross income on lines 14 through 17.

You figure your excess adjusted gross income as follows.

  1. Subtract from your adjusted gross income (Form 1040A, line 22 or Form 1040, line 38) the amount shown for your filing status.

    1. $7,500 if you are single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child,

    2. $10,000 if you are married filing jointly, or

    3. $5,000 if you are married filing separately and you and your spouse didn't live in the same household at any time during the tax year.

  2. Divide the result of (1) by 2.

Step 4. Determine the Total of Steps 2 and 3

To determine if you can take the credit, you must add (on line 18) the amounts you figured in Step 2 (line 13c) and Step 3 (line 17).

Step 5. Determine Your Credit

Subtract the amount determined in Step 4 (line 18) from the initial amount determined in Step 1 (line 12), and multiply the result by 15% (0.15).

In certain cases, the amount of your credit may be limited. See Limit on credit , later.

Example.

You are 66 years old and your spouse is 64. Your spouse isn't disabled. You file a joint return on Form 1040. Your adjusted gross income is $14,630. Together you received $3,200 from social security, which was nontaxable. You figure the credit as follows:

Example applying the 5 step process Amount
(Line references (shown in parentheses) are to Schedule R) 
   
1. Initial amount (line 12) $5,000
2. Total nontaxable social security  
and other nontaxable  
pensions (line 13c)
$3,200  
3. Excess adjusted gross income  
($14,630–$10,000) ÷ 2 (line 17)
2,315  
4. Add (2) and (3) (line 18) 5,515
5. Subtract (4) from (1) (line 12 – line 18 = line 19) 
(Don't enter less than -0-)
$ -0-

You can't take the credit because your nontaxable social security plus your excess adjusted gross income is more than your initial amount.

Limit on credit.   The amount of credit you can claim is generally limited to the amount of your tax. Use the Credit Limit Worksheet in the Instructions for Schedule R to determine if your credit is limited.

Examples

The following examples illustrate the credit for the elderly or the disabled. The initial amounts are taken from Table 2, earlier.

Example 1.

James Davis is 58 years old, single, and files Form 1040A. In 2013 he retired on permanent and total disability, and he is still permanently and totally disabled. He got the required physician's statement in 2013 and kept it with his tax records. His physician signed on line B of the statement. This year James checks the box in Schedule R, Part II. He doesn't need to get another statement for 2015.

He received the following income for the year:

Nontaxable social security $1,500
Interest (taxable) 100
Taxable disability pension 11,400
     

James' adjusted gross income is $11,500 ($11,400 + $100). He figures the credit on Schedule R as follows:

1. Initial amount based on filing status   $5,000
2. Taxable disability pension   11,400
3. Initial amount (smaller of line 1 or line 2)   5,000
4. Nontaxable social security  
benefits
$1,500    
5. Excess adjusted gross income  
($11,500 − $7,500) ÷ 2
2,000    
6. Add lines 4 and 5   3,500
7. Subtract line 6 from line 3  
(Don't enter less than (-0-))
  1,500
8. Multiply line 7 by 15% (0.15)   225
9. Enter the amount from the  
Credit Limit Worksheet in the  
Instructions for Schedule R, line 21
  121
10. Credit (Enter the smaller of  
line 8 or line 9)
  $121

He enters $121 on line 32 of Form 1040A. The Schedule R for James Davis isn't shown.

Example 2.

William White is 53. His wife Helen is 49. William had a stroke 3 years ago and retired on permanent and total disability. He is still permanently and totally disabled because of the stroke. In November, Helen was injured in an accident at work and retired on permanent and total disability.

William received nontaxable social security disability benefits of $2,000 during the year and a taxable disability pension of $6,200. Helen earned $12,900 from her job and received a taxable disability pension of $1,700. Their joint return on Form 1040 shows adjusted gross income of $20,800 ($6,200 + $12,900 + $1,700). They don't itemize deductions. They don't have any amounts that would increase their standard deduction.

Helen's doctor completed the physician's statement in the Instructions for Schedule R. Helen isn't required to include the statement with their return, but she must keep it for her records.

William got a physician's statement for the year he had the stroke. His doctor had signed on line B of that physician's statement to certify that William was permanently and totally disabled. William has kept the physician's statement with his records. He checks the box on Schedule R, Part II and writes his first name in the space above the box on line 2.

William and Helen use Schedule R to figure their $15 credit for the elderly or the disabled. They attach Schedule R to their Form 1040 and enter $15 on line 54. They check box c on line 54 and enter “Sch R” on the line next to that box. See their filled-in Schedule R and Helen's filled-in physician's statement, later.

Instructions for Physician's Statement

   
Taxpayer Physician
If you retired after 1976, enter the date you retired in the space provided on the statement below. A person is permanently and totally disabled if both of the following apply:
  1. He or she can't engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a physical or mental condition.
  2. A physician determines that the disability has lasted or can be expected to last continuously for at least a year or can lead to death.
Physician's Statement  
 
I certify that Helen A. White
Name of disabled person
was permanently and totally disabled on January 1, 1976, or January 1, 1977, or was permanently and totally disabled on the date he or she retired. If retired after 1976, enter the date retired ▶ November 1, 2015
 
Physician: Sign your name on either A or B below.
AThe disability has lasted or can be expected to last continuously for at least a year  
  Physician's signatureDate
BThere is no reasonable probability that the disabled condition will ever improve Ayden D. Doctor2/8/15
  Physician's signatureDate
Physician's name Physician's address
Ayden D. Doctor 1900 Green St., Hometown, MD 20000
   
   

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Page 1 of Schedule R for the Whites

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Page 2 of Schedule R for the Whites

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.


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