Tax help Feed

Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) members adorn the cover of the federal tax advisory committee's 2022 report. Do you constantly look at things and think, I know how to make that better? Then the Internal Revenue Service wants you. Specifically, the IRS' Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) wants you. This all-volunteer group with members from across the United States, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico is committed to improving the IRS and the U.S. tax system. An additional member represents the interests of taxpayers working, living, or doing business abroad. "TAP volunteers consistently work to identify issues, and most importantly, come up with... Read more →


Other IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) Saturday openings will be on March 16, April 13, and May 18. Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash For the third consecutive year, the Internal Revenue Service is opening some of its Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) on Saturdays. Face-to-face help at these IRS offices usually is available only on weekdays, and taxpayers must make appointments. But on Feb. 24, March 16, April 13, and May 18 certain TACs nationwide will be open. Even better, on those four Saturdays taxpayers won't need to call ahead. They can just walk into the TACs, which will be... Read more →


Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash Throughout life, we all encounter momentous firsts. First day of school. First time at a paying job. First time holding your child. First time you file a tax return. OK, that last one is probably not an event you celebrate, even if it produced a tax refund. In fact, if you remember filing your first Form 1040 it at all, it's probably because it was not a good experience. There's no way to replace that bad tax memory. But there are steps that first-time tax filers can take to make sure their initiation into the... Read more →


In February 2022, the Internal Revenue Service stopped issuing several automatic tax notices. The move was prompted in large part by the massive backlog of tax filings that piled up when the agency closed offices as a precaution early in the COVID-19 pandemic. That tax notice moratorium is ending. Automated collection notices will soon show up in the mailboxes of individuals with tax debts prior to tax year 2022. Businesses, tax exempt organizations, trusts, and estates with tax debts prior to 2023, with exceptions for those with existing debt in multiple years, also are on the notice resumption list. These... Read more →


This time of year, most taxpayers are focused on filing their annual tax returns. But most isn't all. Some individuals are trying to sort out other federal tax issues. The Internal Revenue Service is making more face-to-face time to help these taxpayers. More time for taxpayers: The IRS has Taxpayer Assistance Centers, or TACs, across the United States. While tax return preparation is not a service offered at IRS TACs, the facilities do work with taxpayers to help resolve other tax-related issues. Now, nearly 250 of those offices will extend their usual 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekday hours to... Read more →


Hiring a tax professional is not a task to take lightly. Filing false tax returns gets tax preparer 2+ year prison term, order to repay $4.7 million to Treasury You need to find tax help that fits your specific financial and tax needs. You then must make sure that the tax pro is just that. Professional. And reputable. Unfortunately, there are too many purported tax pros who turn out to be crooks. One of them, however, was caught and now will spend more than two years in federal prison. After he gets out of jail, he will face a year... Read more →


Hello, February. Even though it's the second month of the year, it's the first full month of the annual tax-filing season. So if you're just now starting to focus on filing your return, don't feel bad or alone. A lot of us are right there with you. Since February is the shortest month, even with this year's extra Leap Year day, I'll keep the monthly tax moves list brief, too. Here are four tax moves to consider in the next 29 days. 1. Keep an eye out for tax statements. Yesterday, Jan. 31, was the day that employers were supposed... Read more →


Taking things a bit more slowly often is a good idea. For many, that approach also applies when it comes to filing their annual tax return. (Photo by Kay Bell) While millions of taxpayers are eager each January to get their returns to the Internal Revenue Service, there just as many who want to take their time. Some are just natural procrastinators. They wait until the last minute to finish every task. But when it comes to tax filing, there actually are some good reasons to not be in such a hurry. Here are seven. 1. To see if Congress... Read more →


Fortune cookie tax filing wisdom (Photo by Kay Bell) If the 2024 tax-filing season is anything like previous ones, millions of taxpayers sent their 2023 taxes to the Internal Revenue Service today, the official start of federal return processing. The most obvious and common motive for first-day filing is to get expected refunds. But there are some other reasons you might want to file your taxes early. Here are eight. 1. To beat tax ID thieves to the punch. The IRS and its Security Summit partners have made good progress in recent years in reducing tax identity theft and associated... Read more →


Most taxpayers will never be as chill as this tabby, especially now that the annual tax filing season is here. But these tips could make the tax task a little easier. (Photo by Jacalyn Beales on Unsplash) If you've already got your 2023 tax return ready to send to the Internal Revenue Service tomorrow, Jan. 29, when the agency starts processing filings, you can peruse other items on the ol' blog. (Thank you!) If, however, you're not quite ready yet to tackle Form 1040, I got you. Even when your taxes aren't complicated, many of us dread filling out tax... Read more →


IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel speaking at an EITC Awareness Day event in Baltimore sponsored by the CASH (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope) Campaign of Maryland. (Photo courtesy CASH/IRS via X/Twitter) It's the Friday before the annual tax season kick off on Monday, Jan. 29. That means today is Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day. For the past 18 years, the Internal Revenue Service and community organizations, state and local government officials, schools, employers, and other groups have spent EITC Day getting the word out on this valuable, but too often overlooked, tax credit. Today, IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel headed... Read more →


The 2024 tax filing season has started. Sorta. Eight tax software companies now are available to eligible Free File taxpayers. Some business returns can be e-filed starting Tuesday, Jan. 16. On Monday, Jan. 29, the Internal Revenue Service officially begins processing all 2023 tax returns. While this filing season is expected to be relatively smooth, some taxpayers typically encounter problems. And every year, the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) details the most annoying tax complications that we, and the IRS, face. 10 most serious taxpayers problems: Those concerns are included in NTA Erin M. Collins' 2023 Annual Report to Congress, released... Read more →


Free File is back for its 22nd filing season. The no-cost tax preparation and e-filing partnership between the Internal Revenue Service and tax software manufacturers opened today, Friday, Jan. 12, to eligible taxpayers. This year, Free File eligible taxpayers are those whose 2023 adjusted gross income, regardless of filing status, was $79,000 or less. 8 software options: Eight private-sector tax software companies are part of this 22nd Free File season. They are — 1040Now Drake (1040.com) ezTaxReturn.com FileYourTaxes.com On-Line Taxes TaxAct TaxHawk (FreeTaxUSA) TaxSlayer Each IRS Free File provider sets its own eligibility rules for products based on age, income,... Read more →


Now that we know the Internal Revenue Service will start processing our 2023 tax returns on Jan. 29, taxpayers are thinking about how they'll deal with this annual filing task. Many taxpayers are concerned about tax law complexity. Some are looking for the most tax breaks that will get them a big refund. Others worry about the cost of filing. And all of us just want the process completed as painlessly as possible. Regardless of your tax concerns, you have lots of filing options. Here's a quick overview. Go pro: You can hire a tax professional, either an independent tax... Read more →


Photo by Anya Batalova on Unsplash We don't get many — OK, not any — kids dressed as ghosts on Halloween night. Our neighborhood's youngsters seem to prefer dressing as comic book icons turned movie characters. Heck, last week I even saw an adult, or a very tall teen, dressed as Spiderman, full-face mask included, during my last grocery store visit. But that's for another blog post. Or a call to the local authorities. Getting back to ghosts, notably those with tax connections. As I mentioned in an earlier post, ghost employees and ghost employers can wreak havoc when it... Read more →


Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash In these hectic times, you might think you don't have any more minutes to offer, especially in an unpaid capacity. But volunteering can pay off in unexpected ways. You can meet new people, and make new friends, who share your passion. Many times, you learn new skills, some of which could help advance your paying career. The satisfaction of helping others also just might make you happier. That's something that all of us could use. And if your inclination to assist involves taxes, then you are exactly who the Internal Revenue Service is seeking.... Read more →


Super helpful is how millions of taxpayers describe VITA and TCE volunteers each tax-filing season. The IRS has awarded new grants to keep the nationwide free tax preparation and filing programs going. (Photo by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash) More than 62 million of us did our own taxes and e-filed them this tax season, at least through May 12, the date of the Internal Revenue Service's latest count. That represented almost 44 percent of all 2022 tax year filings so far. Some of those taxpayers, however, got some no-cost help from IRS-trained volunteers in filling out and electronically filing their... Read more →


The 2023 filing season officially ended for most U.S. taxpayers on Monday, the Oct. 16 extension deadline. Now the Internal Revenue Service is looking forward to next year. The agency today announced that its finalizing a Direct File program that will involve at least four states. Arizona, California, Massachusetts, and New York officials have decided be a part of the 2024 filing program, which will be under total IRS purview rather than in conjunction with the tax software industry as is the current Free File system. State tax help key: Getting the buy-in of California and New York, home to... Read more →


If you're just now getting to work on your extended 2022 tax return, which is due to the Internal Revenue Service by Monday, Oct. 16, don't panic. These tips will help you make the most of the little tax time left. (Image courtesy Taxpayer Advocate Service, which also has some tips for Oct. 16 filers.) It's almost Tax Day for extreme procrastinators. The extension you got for your 2022 return ends on Monday, Oct. 16. Since the tax clock is ticking, let's get right to these eight tips that can help you complete your Form 1040 by the fast approaching,... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Philip Oroni Get ready fellow taxpayers. Our robot tax overlords are here. Or rather, getting more here. The Internal Revenue Service began using artificial intelligence (AI) bots last year to help taxpayers complete some tax tasks, such as setting up a payment plan. Today, the agency announced that it is expanding its use of chatbots to help answer some tax notice questions. Specifically, the technology should help quickly answer basic questions for people who get notices about possibly underreporting their taxes. Those are CP2000, CP2501, and CP3219A mailings that tell taxpayers the information the IRS received... Read more →