WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminded those using an extension that filing as soon as possible will let them take advantage of special tools available on IRS.gov.
Every year millions of taxpayers postpone filing their tax returns by requesting an extension. While taxes may not be the first thing to come to mind in the summertime, it is an ideal time to start tax planning. IRS.gov is the fastest and most convenient way to get tax-related information and help. The online tools are available any time, so taxpayers can use them at their convenience.
Start with IRS online
Taxpayers can use IRS.gov 24 hours a day, seven days a week to:
- Use the Interactive Tax Assistant tool for answers to most individual tax law questions.
- Sign into their personal IRS Online Account to view their tax records, manage communication preferences, make payments and more.
- File and pay electronically as soon as possible will reduce penalties and interest for those who have not filed yet and owe.
- Make payments or set up payment plans online at IRS.gov/payments.
- Find the most up-to-date information about their tax refunds using the Where’s My Refund? tool.
Key reasons for taxpayers to visit IRS.gov this summer include:
Do-it-yourself tax preparation with Free File
Taxpayers who missed the April 18 deadline or requested an extension to Oct. 16 can prepare and e-file their tax returns for free with IRS Free File. The IRS accepts electronically filed returns 24/7. There’s no reason to wait until Oct. 16 if filers have all the information they need to file an accurate return. Direct deposit ensures refunds are received quickly.
Tax pros are still ready
While tax season may be over, tax professionals stand ready to help their clients get their taxes completed and filed as quickly as possible. Most tax professionals provide outstanding and professional service; however, some taxpayers are hurt financially because they choose the wrong tax return preparer. Taxpayers should first check IRS’ tips for choosing a tax preparer and how to avoid unethical “ghost” return preparers.
Find a Taxpayer Assistance Center
The Taxpayer Assistance Center Locator tool at IRS.gov helps taxpayers find their closest IRS office, the days and hours of operation and a list of services provided. IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers operate by appointment only. Getting in-person help from the IRS is a simple as calling 844-545-5640 to schedule an appointment.
Discover free local tax preparation
Many Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs are still offering free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals, a group that includes:
- People who generally make $60,000 or less,
- Persons with disabilities; and
- Limited English-speaking taxpayers.
Read information in other languages
Many pages on IRS.gov are now available in Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Korean, Haitian Creole and Chinese. Some of the multilingual resources include the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, e-file resources and many tax forms and publications.
Accessible forms and publications
IRS.gov provides a variety of accessible forms and publications to accommodate people who use assistive technology such as screen reading software, refreshable Braille displays and screen magnifying software. Taxpayers can also complete Form 9000, Alternative Media Preference, to receive their IRS tax notices in Braille, large print, audio or electronic formats.
Help for members of the Armed Forces
Members of the military, such as those who serve in a combat zone or are serving in contingency operations outside the United States, can postpone most tax deadlines. Those who qualify can get automatic extensions of time to file and pay their taxes.
MilTax is a Department of Defense program that generally offers free return preparation and e-filing software for all military members and some veterans, with no income limit. This includes federal tax returns and up to three state income tax returns for each qualified user.
Taxpayers in disaster areas
When the U.S. president makes a disaster area declaration, the IRS can postpone certain taxpayer deadlines for residents and businesses in the affected area. Taxpayers in certain disaster areas do not need to submit an extension electronically or on paper. People can find information on the most recent tax relief for disaster situations on the Tax Relief in Disaster Situations page.
Get ahead of next year’s tax season: Adjust withholding and avoid tax surprises
Summer is an especially good time for taxpayers to check their paycheck’s tax withholding. Life events like marriage, divorce, having a child or a change in income can affect their taxes.
IRS.gov’s Tax Withholding Estimator helps employees assess their income tax, credits, adjustments and deductions, and determine whether they need to change their withholding so they aren’t surprised next tax filing season.
Keep current with IRS Tax Tips
Taxpayers can subscribe to IRS Tax Tips to get easy-to-read articles sent directly to their e-mail from the IRS. Tax Tips are brief, to the point and cover various tax topics, like year-round tax planning and understanding taxpayer rights.
More helpful links:
- Download the official IRS mobile app, IRS2Go
- Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate
- Publication 5349, Year-round Tax Planning is for Everyone
- About Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement