- Publication 556 - Introductory Material
- Publication 556 - Main Content
- Examination of Returns
- Examination selection criteria.
- Notice of IRS contact of third parties.
- Taxpayer Advocate Service.
- Comments from small business.
- If Your Return Is Examined
- Third party authorization.
- Confidentiality privilege.
- Transfers to another area.
- Repeat examinations.
- The Examination
- If You Agree
- If You Do Not Agree
- Fast track mediation.
- 30-day letter and 90-day letter.
- 90-day letter.
- Suspension of interest and penalties.
- Seeking relief from improperly assessed interest.
- If you later agree.
- How To Stop Interest From Accruing
- Payment or Deposit
- Using a Deposit To Pay the Tax
- Installment Agreement Request
- Interest Netting
- Abatement of Interest Due to Error or Delay by the IRS
- Ministerial act.
- Managerial act.
- How to request abatement of interest.
- Tax Court can review failure to abate interest.
- Abatement of Interest for Individuals Affected by Presidentially Declared Disasters or Military or Terrorist Actions
- Offer in Compromise
- Appeal Rights
- Appeal Within the IRS
- Protests and Small Case Requests
- Appeals to the Courts
- Prohibition on requests to taxpayers to give up rights to bring civil action.
- Burden of proof.
- Use of statistical information.
- Recovering litigation or administrative costs.
- Prevailing party.
- Reasonable litigation costs.
- Reasonable administrative costs.
- Timing of costs.
- Net worth requirements.
- Qualified offer rule.
- Qualified offer.
- Qualified offer period.
- Attorney fees.
- Jurisdiction for determination of employment status.
- Section 530(a) of the Revenue Act of 1978.
- Tax Court review of request for relief from joint and several liability on a joint return.
- Tax Court
- District Court and Court of Federal Claims
- Refund or Credit of Overpayments Before Final Determination
- Claims for Refund
- Requesting a copy of your tax return.
- Requesting a copy of your tax account information.
- Penalty for erroneous claim for refund.
- Time for Filing a Claim for Refund
- Disaster area claims for refund.
- Postponed refund deadlines.
- Nonfilers can get refund of overpayments paid within 3-year period.
- Claim for refund by estates electing the installment method of payment.
- Protective claim for refund.
- Limit on Amount of Refund
- Processing Claims for Refund
- Reduced Refund
- How To Get Tax Help
- Publication 556 - Additional Material
Publication 556 (09/2013), Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights, and Claims for Refund
Revised: September 2013
Provide America's taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and by applying the tax law with integrity and fairness to all.
Penalty for filing erroneous claim for refund or credit. You may have to pay a penalty if you file an erroneous claim for refund or credit. See Penalty for erroneous claim for refund, later under Claims for Refund.
Interest and penalties suspended if notice not mailed within 36 months. If you file your return timely (including extensions), interest and certain penalties will be suspended if the IRS does not mail a notice to you within 36 months. See Suspension of interest and penalties, later under Examination of Returns.
Offers in compromise,
Trust fund recovery penalties, and
Other collection actions.
See Fast track mediation under If You Do Not Agree.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) accepts most federal tax returns as filed. However, the IRS examines (or audits) some returns to determine if income, expenses, and credits are being reported accurately.
If your return is selected for examination, it does not suggest that you made an error or are dishonest. Returns are chosen by computerized screening, by random sample, or by an income document matching program. See Examination selection criteria, later. You should also know that many examinations result in a refund or acceptance of the tax return without change.
This publication discusses general rules and procedures that the IRS follows in examinations. It explains what happens during an examination and your appeal rights, both within the IRS and in the federal court system. It also explains how to file a claim for refund of tax you already paid.
As a taxpayer, you have the right to be treated fairly, professionally, promptly, and courteously by IRS employees. Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, explains your rights when dealing with the IRS.
1 Your Rights as a Taxpayer
5 Your Appeal Rights and How To Prepare a Protest If You Don't Agree
547 Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts
594 The IRS Collection Process
910 Guide to Free Tax Services
971 Innocent Spouse Relief
1546 Taxpayer Advocate Service–Your Voice at the IRS
1660 Collection Appeal Rights
3605 Fast Track Mediation
3920 Tax Relief for Victims of Terrorist Attacks
4134 Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List
Form (and Instructions)
843 Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement
911 Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (and Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order)
1040X Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
2848 Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative
4506 Request for Copy of Tax Return
4506-T Request for Transcript of Tax Return
8379 Injured Spouse Allocation
8857 Request for Innocent Spouse Relief
See How To Get Tax Help , near the end of this publication, for information about getting these publications and forms.
Your return may be examined for a variety of reasons, and the examination may take place in any one of several ways. After the examination, if any changes to your tax are proposed, you can either agree with those changes and pay any additional tax you may owe, or you can disagree with the changes and appeal the decision.
Some examinations are handled entirely by mail. Examinations not handled by mail can take place in your home, your place of business, an Internal Revenue office, or the office of your authorized representative. If the time, place, or method is not convenient for you, the examiner will try to work out something more suitable. However, the IRS makes the final determination of when, where, and how the examination will take place.
Throughout the examination, you can act on your own behalf or have someone represent you or accompany you. If you filed a joint return, either you or your spouse, or both, can meet with the IRS. The person representing you can be any federally authorized practitioner, including an attorney, a certified public accountant, an enrolled agent (a person enrolled to practice before the IRS), an enrolled actuary, or the person who prepared the return and signed it as the preparer.
If you want someone to represent you in your absence, you must furnish that person with proper written authorization. You can use Form 2848 or any other properly written authorization. If you want to consult with an attorney, a certified public accountant, an enrolled agent, or any other person permitted to represent a taxpayer during an interview for examining a tax return or collecting tax, you should make arrangements with that person to be available for the interview. In most cases, the IRS must suspend the interview and reschedule it. The IRS cannot suspend the interview if you are there because of an administrative summons.
An examination usually begins when you are notified that your return has been selected. The IRS will tell you which records you will need. The examination can proceed more easily if you gather your records before any interview.
Any proposed changes to your return will be explained to you or your authorized representative. It is important that you understand the reasons for any proposed changes. You should not hesitate to ask about anything that is unclear to you.
The IRS must follow the tax laws set forth by Congress in the Internal Revenue Code. The IRS also follows Treasury Regulations, other rules, and procedures that were written to administer the tax laws and court decisions. However, the IRS can lose cases that involve taxpayers with the same issue and still apply its interpretation of the law to your situation.
Most taxpayers agree to changes proposed by examiners, and the examinations are closed at this level. If you do not agree, you can appeal any proposed change by following the procedures provided to you by the IRS. A more complete discussion of appeal rights is found later under Appeal Rights .
If you agree with the proposed changes, you can sign an agreement form and pay any additional tax you may owe. You must pay interest on any additional tax. If you pay when you sign the agreement, the interest is generally figured from the due date of your return (excluding any extension of time to file) to the date of your payment.
If you do not pay the additional tax when you sign the agreement, you will receive a bill that includes interest. If you pay the amount due within 10 business days of the billing date, you will not have to pay more interest or penalties. This period is extended to 21 calendar days if the amount due is less than $100,000.
If you are due a refund, you will receive it sooner if you sign the agreement form. You will be paid interest on the refund.
If the IRS accepts your tax return as filed, you will receive a letter in a few weeks stating that the examiner proposed no changes to your return. You should keep this letter with your tax records.
If you do not agree with the proposed changes, the examiner will explain your appeal rights. If your examination takes place in an IRS office, you can request an immediate meeting with the examiner's supervisor to explain your position. If an agreement is reached, your case will be closed.
If you cannot reach an agreement with the supervisor at this meeting, or if the examination took place outside of an IRS office, the examiner will write up your case explaining your position and the IRS's position. The examiner will forward your case for processing.
You generally have 30 days from the date of the 30-day letter to tell the IRS whether you will accept or appeal the proposed changes. The letter will explain what steps you should take, depending on which action you choose. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Appeal Rights are explained later.
You will have 90 days (150 days if it is addressed to you outside the United States) from the date of this notice to file a petition with the Tax Court. Filing a petition with the Tax Court is discussed later under Appeals to the Courts and Tax Court .
The notice will show the 90th (or 150th) day by which you must file your petition with the Tax Court.
If you think that you will owe additional tax at the end of the examination, you can stop the further accrual of interest by sending money to the IRS to cover all or part of the amount you think you will owe. Interest on part or all of any amount you owe will stop accruing on the date the IRS receives your money.
You can send an amount either in the form of a deposit in the nature of a cash bond or as a payment of tax. Both a deposit and a payment stop any further accrual of interest. However, making a deposit or payment will stop the accrual of interest on only the amount you sent. Because of compounding rules, interest will continue to accrue on accrued interest, even though you have paid the underlying tax.
To stop the accrual of interest on both tax and interest, you must make a deposit or payment for both the tax and interest that has accrued as of the date of deposit or payment.
Deposits differ from payments in two ways:
You can have all or part of your deposit returned to you without filing for a refund. However, if you request and receive your deposit and the IRS later assesses a deficiency for that period and type of tax, interest will be figured as if the funds were never on deposit. Also, your deposit will not be returned if one of the following situations applies:
The IRS assesses a tax liability.
The IRS determines that, by returning the deposit, it may not be able to collect a future deficiency.
The IRS determines that the deposit should be applied against another tax liability.
Deposits returned to you will include interest based on the Federal short-term rate determined under section 6621(b).
The deposit returned will be treated as a tax payment to the extent of the disputed tax. A disputed tax means the amount of tax specified at the time of deposit as a reasonable estimate of the maximum amount of any tax owed by you, such as the deficiency proposed in the 30-day letter.
If you agree with the examiner's proposed changes after the examination, your deposit will be applied against any amount you may owe. The IRS will not mail you a notice of deficiency and you will not have the right to take your case to the Tax Court.
If you do not agree to the full amount of the deficiency after the examination, the IRS will mail you a notice of deficiency. Your deposit will be applied against the proposed deficiency unless you write to the IRS before the end of the 90-day or 150-day period stating that you still want the money to be treated as a deposit. You will still have the right to take your case to the Tax Court.
You can request a monthly installment plan if you cannot pay the full amount you owe. To be valid, your request must be approved by the IRS. However, if you owe $10,000 or less in tax and you meet certain other criteria, the IRS must accept your request.
Before you request an installment agreement, you should consider other less costly alternatives, such as a bank loan. You will continue to be charged interest and penalties on the amount you owe until it is paid in full.
Unless your income is below a certain level, the fee for an approved installment agreement has increased to $105 ($52 if you make your payments by electronic funds withdrawal). If your income is below a certain level, you may qualify to pay a reduced fee of $43.
For more information about installment agreements, see Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request.
If you owe interest to the IRS on an underpayment for the same period the IRS owes you interest on an overpayment, the IRS will figure interest on the underpayment and overpayment at the same interest rate (up to the amount of the overpayment). As a result, the net rate is zero for that period.
The IRS may abate (reduce) the amount of interest you owe if the interest is due to an unreasonable error or delay by an IRS officer or employee in performing a ministerial or managerial act (discussed later). Only the amount of interest on income, estate, gift, generation-skipping, and certain excise taxes can be reduced.
The amount of interest will not be reduced if you or anyone related to you contributed significantly to the error or delay. Also, the interest will be reduced only if the error or delay happened after the IRS contacted you in writing about the deficiency or payment on which the interest is based. An audit notification letter is such a contact.
The IRS cannot reduce the amount of interest due to a general administrative decision, such as a decision on how to organize the processing of tax returns.
Abatement of Interest for Individuals Affected by Presidentially Declared Disasters or Military or Terrorist Actions
If you are (or were) affected by a Presidentially declared disaster occurring after 1996 or a terrorist or military action occurring after September 10, 2001, the IRS may abate (reduce) the amount of interest you owe on certain taxes. The IRS may abate interest for the period of any additional time to file or pay that the IRS provides on account of the disaster or the terrorist or military action. The IRS will issue a notice or news release indicating who are affected taxpayers and stating the period of relief.
If you are eligible for relief from interest, but were charged interest for the period of relief, the IRS may retroactively abate your interest. To the extent possible, the IRS can take the following actions:
Make appropriate adjustments to your account.
Notify you when the adjustments are made.
Refund any interest paid by you where appropriate.
For more information on disaster area losses, see Disaster Area Losses in Publication 547. For more information on other tax relief for victims of terrorist attacks, see Publication 3920.
In certain circumstances, the IRS will allow you to pay less than the full amount you owe. If you think you may qualify, you should submit your offer by filing Form 656, Offer in Compromise. The IRS may accept your offer for any of the following reasons:
There is doubt about the amount you owe (or whether you owe it).
There is doubt as to whether you can pay the amount you owe based on your financial situation.
An economic hardship would result if you had to pay the full amount owed.
Your case presents compelling reasons that the IRS determines are a sufficient basis for compromise.
If your offer is rejected, you have 30 days to ask the Appeals Office of the IRS to reconsider your offer.
The IRS offers fast track mediation services to help taxpayers resolve many issues including a dispute regarding an offer in compromise. For more information, see Publication 3605.
Generally, if you submit an offer in compromise, the IRS will delay certain collection activities. The IRS usually will not levy (take) your property to settle your tax bill during the following periods:
While the IRS is evaluating your offer in compromise.
The 30 days immediately after the offer is rejected.
While your timely-filed appeal is being considered by Appeals.
Also, if the IRS rejects your original offer and you submit a revised offer within 30 days of the rejection, the IRS generally will not levy your property while it considers your revised offer.
For more information about submitting an offer in compromise, see Form 656.
Because people sometimes disagree on tax matters, the IRS has an appeals system. Most differences can be settled within this system without expensive and time-consuming court trials.
However, your reasons for disagreeing must come within the scope of the tax laws. For example, you cannot appeal your case based only on moral, religious, political, constitutional, conscientious, or similar grounds.
In most instances, you may be eligible to take your case to court if you do not reach an agreement at your appeals conference, or if you do not want to appeal your case to the IRS Office of Appeals. See Appeals to the Courts , later, for more information.
You can appeal an IRS tax decision to a local Appeals Office, which is separate from and independent of the IRS office taking the action you disagree with. The Appeals Office is the only level of appeal within the IRS. Conferences with Appeals Office personnel are held in an informal manner by correspondence, by telephone, or at a personal conference.
If you want an appeals conference, follow the instructions in the letter you received. Your request will be sent to the Appeals Office to arrange a conference at a convenient time and place. You or your representative should be prepared to discuss all disputed issues at the conference. Most differences are settled at this level.
If agreement is not reached at your appeals conference, you may be eligible to take your case to court. See Appeals to the Courts , later.
When you request an Appeals conference, you may also need to file either a formal written protest or a small case request with the office named in the letter you received. Also, see the special appeal request procedures in Publication 1660.
You can represent yourself at your appeals conference, or you can be represented by any federally authorized practitioner, including an attorney, a certified public accountant, an enrolled actuary, or an enrolled agent.
If your representative attends a conference without you, he or she can receive or inspect confidential information only if you have filed a power of attorney or a tax information authorization. You can use a Form 2848 or any other properly written power of attorney or authorization.
You can also bring witnesses to support your position.
If you and the IRS still disagree after the appeals conference, you may be entitled to take your case to the United States Tax Court, the United States Court of Federal Claims, or a United States District Court. These courts are independent of the IRS.
If you elect to bypass the IRS's appeals system, you may be able to take your case to one of the courts listed above. However, a case petitioned to the United States Tax Court will normally be considered for settlement by an Appeals Officer before the Tax Court hears the case.
If you unreasonably fail to pursue the IRS's appeals system, or if your case is intended primarily to cause a delay, or your position is frivolous or groundless, the Tax Court may impose a penalty of up to $25,000. See Appeal Within the IRS, earlier.
You can take your case to the United States Tax Court if you disagree with the IRS over:
Employment tax involving IRS employment status determinations, or
Certain excise taxes of private foundations, public charities, qualified pension and other retirement plans, or real estate investment trusts.
For information on Tax Court review of a determination of employment status, see Jurisdiction for determination of employment status, earlier.
For information on Tax Court review of an IRS refusal to abate interest, see Tax Court can review failure to abate interest, earlier under Examination of Returns.
For information on Tax Court review of Appeals determinations with respect to lien notices and proposed levies, see Publication 1660.
You cannot take your case to the Tax Court before the IRS sends you a notice of deficiency. You can only appeal your case if you file a petition within 90 days from the date the notice is mailed to you (150 days if it is addressed to you outside the United States).
The notice will show the 90th (or 150th) day by which you must file your petition with the Tax Court.
If you consent, the IRS can withdraw a notice of deficiency. A notice of deficiency may be rescinded if the notice was issued as a result of an administrative error; the taxpayer submits information establishing the actual tax due is less than the amount shown in the notice; the taxpayer specifically requests a conference with the appropriate Appeals office for the purpose of entering into settlement negotiations. However, the notice may be rescinded only if the appropriate Appeals office first decides that the case is susceptible to agreement. See Revenue Procedure 98-54 for a more detailed explanation of the requirements. Once withdrawn, the limits on credits, refunds, and assessments concerning the notice are void, and you and the IRS have the rights and obligations that you had before the notice was issued. The suspension of any time limitation while the notice of deficiency was issued will not change when the notice is withdrawn.
After the notice is withdrawn, you cannot file a petition with the Tax Court based on the notice. Also, the IRS can later issue a notice of deficiency in a greater or lesser amount than the amount in the withdrawn deficiency.
Generally, the Tax Court hears cases before any tax has been assessed and paid; however, you can pay the tax after the notice of deficiency has been issued and still petition the Tax Court for review. If you do not file your petition on time, the proposed tax will be assessed, a bill will be sent, and you will not be able to take your case to the Tax Court. Under the law, you must pay the tax within 21 days (10 business days if the amount is $100,000 or more). Collection can proceed even if you think that the amount is excessive. Publication 594 explains IRS collection procedures.
If you filed your petition on time, the court will schedule your case for trial at a location convenient to you. You can represent yourself before the Tax Court or you can be represented by anyone admitted to practice before that court.
Generally, the District Courts and the Court of Federal Claims hear tax cases only after you have paid the entire tax and penalties, and filed a claim for a credit or refund.
The taxpayer may litigate certain types of employment tax cases in either the United States District Court or the United States Court of Federal Claims. Before taxpayers can initiate suit in either of these courts with respect to certain employment taxes, they will have to pay, at a minimum, the employment tax assessment attributable to one employee for any one quarter and file a claim for refund of the tax. Once the claim for refund is denied or 6 months elapse without any action by the IRS, the taxpayer may initiate suit.
As explained later under Claims for Refund, you can file a claim with the IRS for a credit or refund if you think that the tax you paid is incorrect or excessive. If your claim is totally or partially disallowed by the IRS, you should receive a notice of claim disallowance. If the IRS does not act on your claim within 6 months from the date you filed it, you can then file suit for a refund.
You generally must file suit for a credit or refund no later than 2 years after the IRS informs you that your claim has been rejected. However, you can file suit if it has been 6 months since you filed your claim and the IRS has not yet delivered a decision.
You can file suit for a credit or refund in your United States District Court or in the United States Court of Federal Claims. However, you cannot appeal to the United States Court of Federal Claims if your claim is for credit or refund of a penalty that relates to promoting an abusive tax shelter or to aiding and abetting the understatement of tax liability on someone else's return.
For information about procedures for filing suit in either court, contact the Clerk of your District Court or of the United States Court of Federal Claims.
Any court with proper jurisdiction, including the Tax Court, can order the IRS to refund any part of a tax deficiency that the IRS collects from you during a period when the IRS is not permitted to assess that deficiency, or to levy or engage in any court proceeding to collect that deficiency. In addition, the court can order a refund of any part of an overpayment determined by the Tax Court that is not at issue on appeal to a higher court. The court can order these refunds before its decision on the case is final. Taxpayers should thoroughly review IRS settlement offers before signing a Tax Court Decision document to ensure that all adjustments are correct, including the inclusion of any tax credits that the taxpayer is allowed to claim.
Generally, the IRS is not permitted to take action on a tax deficiency during:
The 90-day (or 150-day if outside the United States) period that you have to petition a notice of deficiency to the Tax Court, or
The period that the case is under appeal if a bond is provided.
If you believe you have overpaid your tax, you have a limited amount of time in which to file a claim for a credit or refund. You can claim a credit or refund by filing Form 1040X. See Time for Filing a Claim for Refund , later.
File your claim by mailing it to the IRS Service Center where you filed your original return. File a separate form for each year or period involved. Include an explanation of each item of income, deduction, or credit on which you are basing your claim.
Corporations should file Form 1120X, Amended U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return, or other form appropriate to the type of credit or refund claimed.
See Publication 3920 for information on filing claims for tax forgiveness for individuals affected by terrorist attacks.
Generally, you must file a claim for a credit or refund within 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. If you do not file a claim within this period, you may no longer be entitled to a credit or a refund.
If the due date to file a return or a claim for a credit or refund is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, it is filed on time if it is filed on the next business day. Returns you filed before the due date are considered filed on the due date. This is true even when the due date is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
A list of the areas eligible for assistance under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act is available at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website at www.fema.gov and at the IRS website at www.irs.gov.
The IRS may postpone for up to 1 year certain tax deadlines, including the time for filing claims for refund, for taxpayers who are affected by a terrorist attack occurring after September 10, 2001. For more information, see Publication 3920.
If you file your claim within 3 years after filing your return, the credit or refund cannot be more than the part of the tax paid within the 3 years (plus the length of any extension of time granted for filing your return) before you filed the claim.
Claims are usually processed shortly after they are filed. Your claim may be denied, accepted as filed, or it may be examined. If a claim is examined, the procedures are almost the same as in the examination of a tax return.
However, if you are filing a claim for credit or refund based only on contested income tax or on estate tax or gift tax issues considered in previously examined returns and you do not want to appeal within the IRS, you should request in writing that the claim be immediately rejected. A notice of claim disallowance will then be promptly sent to you. You have 2 years from the date of mailing of the notice of disallowance to file a refund suit in a United States District Court or in the United States Court of Federal Claims.
The IRS must explain to you the specific reasons why your claim for refund is disallowed or partially disallowed. Claims for refund are disallowed based on a preliminary review or on further examination. Some of the reasons your claim may be disallowed include the following:
It was filed late.
It was based solely on the unconstitutionality of the revenue acts.
It was waived as part of a settlement.
It covered a tax year or issues which were part of a closing agreement or an offer in compromise.
It was related to a return closed by a final court order.
If your claim is disallowed for these reasons, or any other reason, the IRS must send you an explanation.
Your refund may be reduced by an additional tax liability. Also, your refund may be reduced by amounts you owe for past-due child support, debts you owe to another federal agency, or past-due legally enforceable state income tax obligations. You will be notified if this happens. For those reductions, you cannot use the appeal and refund procedures discussed in this publication. However, you may be able to take action against the other agency.
Go online, use a smart phone, call or walk in to an office near you. Whether it's help with a tax issue, preparing your tax return or picking up a free publication or form, get the help you need the way you want it.
Internet. IRS.gov and IRS2Go are ready when you are — every day, every night, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Go to IRS.gov and enter Apply for an EIN in the search box.
Request an Electronic Filing PIN by going to IRS.gov and entering Electronic Filing PIN in the search box.
Check the status of your 2013 refund with Where's My Refund? Go to IRS.gov or the IRS2Go app, and click on Where's My Refund? You'll get a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. If you e-file, your refund status is usually available within 24 hours after the IRS receives your tax return or 4 weeks after you've mailed a paper return.
Check the status of your amended return. Go to IRS.gov and enter Where's My Amended Return? in the search box.
Download forms, instructions, and publications, including some accessible versions.
Order free transcripts of your tax returns or tax account using the Order a Transcript tool on IRS.gov or IRS2Go. Tax return and tax account transcripts are generally available for the current year and past three years.
Figure your income tax withholding with the IRS Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov. Use it if you've had too much or too little withheld, your personal situation has changed, you're starting a new job or you just want to see if you're having the right amount withheld.
Determine if you might be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax by using the Alternative Minimum Tax Assistant on IRS.gov.
Locate the nearest Taxpayer Assistance Center using the Office Locator tool on IRS.gov or IRS2Go. Stop by most business days for face-to-face tax help, no appointment necessary — just walk in. An employee can explain IRS letters, request adjustments to your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. Before you visit, check the Office Locator for the address, phone number, hours of operation and the services provided. If you have an ongoing tax account problem or a special need, such as a disability, you can request an appointment. Call the local number listed in the Office Locator, or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service.
Locate the nearest volunteer help site with the VITA Locator Tool on IRS.gov. Low-to-moderate income, elderly, persons with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers can get free help with their tax return from the nationwide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers 60 and older with their tax returns. Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing and some provide IRS-certified volunteers who can help prepare your tax return. AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program as part of the TCE program. Visit AARP's website to find the nearest Tax-Aide location.
Research your tax questions.
Search publications and instructions by topic or keyword.
Read the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, or other official guidance.
Read Internal Revenue Bulletins.
Sign up to receive local and national tax news by email.
Phone.You can call the IRS, or you can carry it in your pocket with the IRS2Go app on your smart phone or tablet.
Download the free IRS2Go mobile app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play. Use it to watch the IRS YouTube channel, get IRS news as soon as it's released to the public, order transcripts of your tax returns or tax account, check your refund status, subscribe to filing season updates or daily tax tips, and follow the IRS Twitter news feed, @IRSnews, to get the latest federal tax news, including information about tax law changes and important IRS programs.
Call to locate the nearest volunteer help site, 1-800-906-9887. Low-to-moderate income, elderly, persons with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers can get free help with their tax return from the nationwide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers 60 and older with their tax returns. Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing. Some VITA and TCE sites provide IRS-certified volunteers who can help prepare your tax return. Through the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program; call 1-888-227-7669 to find the nearest Tax-Aide location.
Call to check the status of your 2013 refund, 1-800-829-1954 or 1-800-829-4477. The automated Where's My Refund? information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you e-file, your refund status is usually available within 24 hours after the IRS receives your tax return or 4 weeks after you've mailed a paper return. Before you call, have your 2013 tax return handy so you can provide your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. Where's My Refund? can give you a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. Where's My Refund? includes information for the most recent return filed in the current year and does not include information about amended returns.
Call the Amended Return Hotline, 1-866-464-2050, to check the status of your amended return.
Call to order forms, instructions and publications, 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676) to order current-year forms, instructions and publications, and prior-year forms and instructions (limited to 5 years). You should receive your order within 10 business days.
Call to order transcripts of your tax returns or tax account, 1-800-908-9946. Follow the prompts to provide your Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, date of birth, street address and ZIP code.
Call for TeleTax topics, 1-800-829-4477, to listen to pre-recorded messages covering various tax topics.
Call to ask tax questions, 1-800-829-1040.
Call using TTY/TDD equipment, 1-800-829-4059 to ask tax questions or order forms and publications. The TTY/TDD telephone number is for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability. These individuals can also contact the IRS through relay services such as the Federal Relay Service available at www.gsa.gov/fedrelay.
Walk-in. You can find a selection of forms, publications and services — in-person, face-to-face.
Products. You can walk in to some post offices, libraries, and IRS offices to pick up certain forms, instructions, and publications. Some IRS offices, libraries, and city and county government offices have a collection of products available to photocopy from reproducible proofs.
Services. You can walk in to your local TAC (Taxpayer Assistance Center) most business days for personal, face-to-face tax help. An employee can explain IRS letters, request adjustments to your tax account, or help you set up a payment plan. If you need to resolve a tax problem, have questions about how the tax law applies to your individual tax return, or you are more comfortable talking with someone in person, visit your local TAC where you can talk with an IRS representative face-to-face. No appointment is necessary—just walk in. Before visiting, check www.irs.gov/localcontacts for hours of operation and services provided.
Mail. You can send your order for forms, instructions, and publications to the address below. You should receive a response within 10 business days after your request is received.
Internal Revenue Service
1201 N. Mitsubishi Motorway
Bloomington, IL 61705-6613
- Burden of proof, Burden of proof.
- Civil action (see Waivers, tax suits, civil action)
- Claim for refund, Claims for Refund
- Disallowance, Explanation of Any Claim for Refund Disallowance
- Estates on installment method, Claim for refund by estates electing the installment method of payment.
- Periods of financial disability, Periods of financial disability.
- Comments on publication, Comments and suggestions.
- Communications, privileged, Confidentiality privilege., Confidentiality privilege.
- Confidentiality, Confidentiality privilege., Confidentiality privilege.
- Disability (see Financial disability, periods of)
- Disaster areas, abatement of interest, Abatement of Interest for Individuals Affected by Presidentially Declared Disasters or Military or Terrorist Actions
- Employment status, Tax Court review of, Jurisdiction for determination of employment status.
- Claim for refund, Claim for refund by estates electing the installment method of payment.
- Examination of returns, Examination of Returns
- Help (see Tax help)
- Injured spouse, Injured spouse exception.
- Innocent spouse relief, Tax Court review of request for relief from joint and several liability on a joint return., Relief from joint and several liability on a joint return.
- Installment agreement, Installment Agreement Request
- Installment method
- Estates, claim for refund by, Claim for refund by estates electing the installment method of payment.
- Disaster areas, Abatement of Interest for Individuals Affected by Presidentially Declared Disasters or Military or Terrorist Actions
- Error or delay by IRS, Abatement of Interest Due to Error or Delay by the IRS
- Terrorist attacks, Abatement of Interest for Individuals Affected by Presidentially Declared Disasters or Military or Terrorist Actions
- Netting, overlapping underpayments and overpayments, Interest Netting
- Suspended, Suspension of interest and penalties.
- Joint and several liability, relief from, Tax Court review of request for relief from joint and several liability on a joint return., Relief from joint and several liability on a joint return.
- Mediation, fast track, Fast track mediation.
- More information,
- Offer in compromise, Offer in Compromise
- Offsets against state tax, Offset of past-due state income tax obligations against overpayments.
- Refund, Claims for Refund, Periods of financial disability., Offset of past-due state income tax obligations against overpayments.
- Reduced, Reduced Refund
- Refund deadline postponement, Postponed refund deadlines.
- Refund or credit before court decision, Refund or Credit of Overpayments Before Final Determination
- Communications, privileged, Confidentiality privilege., Confidentiality privilege.
- Requests to waive, Prohibition on requests to taxpayers to give up rights to bring civil action.
- Suggestions for publication, Comments and suggestions.
- Tax Court, Appeals to the Courts, Tax Court
- Employment status, review of, Jurisdiction for determination of employment status.
- Innocent spouse relief, review of request for, Tax Court review of request for relief from joint and several liability on a joint return.
- Refund or credit before decision, Refund or Credit of Overpayments Before Final Determination
- Tax help, How To Get Tax Help
- Taxpayer Advocate, Taxpayer Advocate Service.
- Taxpayer Advocate Service, Taxpayer Advocate Service.
- Terrorist attacks, abatement of interest, Abatement of Interest for Individuals Affected by Presidentially Declared Disasters or Military or Terrorist Actions
- Third party authorization, Third party authorization.
- TTY/TDD information, How To Get Tax Help
- Tax suits, civil action, Prohibition on requests to taxpayers to give up rights to bring civil action.
- Zero rate, overlapping periods of interest (see Interest, netting)