Showing posts with label IRS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IRS. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

IR-2024-99: Special Saturday help available April 13 at 70 IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers nationwide; no appointment needed

As the April 15 federal tax filing deadline nears, the Internal Revenue Service today announced it will open more than 70 Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) around the country on Saturday, April 13, for face-to-face help. This special help is available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time.

At TACs, people meet face-to-face with IRS employees to get help with tax account issues, such as authenticating someone's identity, asking about account adjustments and making payments by check or money order. The IRS plans one additional special Saturday opening on May 18.

"IRS employees have been working hard throughout this tax season to help taxpayers, and the special Saturday hours are one more way we've expanded our services," said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. "With the help of additional funding through the Inflation Reduction Act, we've been able to serve more taxpayers and provide additional assistance. For these special Saturday sessions, we encourage taxpayers to plan ahead so they have the right information. Frequently, taxpayers can get the help they need by visiting"

Before travelling to an office, the IRS encourages everyone to visit the event page IRS face-to-face Saturday help to get current information. The IRS notes representatives can't accept cash payments during the special Saturday openings, and tax return preparation is not an available service.

The IRS has online resources for many common tax situations, including several tools for making payments, getting an extension to file and setting up installment agreements. Taxpayers can make payments using their personal financial accounts, debit or credit cards and even digital wallets using tools on

Tips for taxpayers planning a visit

Individuals should bring the following documents when they visit IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers:
  • Current government-issued photo identification, along with a second form of identification for identity verification services.
  • Social Security or Individual Taxpayer Identification numbers for themselves and all members of their household, including their spouse and dependents (if applicable).
  • Any IRS letters or notices received and related documents.
  • A copy or digital image of the tax return in question if one was filed.
The IRS noted that because appointments aren't necessary for these special Saturday hours, some locations may see high demand and wait times can be longer than usual. To help with this and avoid delays, the IRS encourages people to plan ahead, review key tips and come prepared with needed information. IRS employees will be working hard to serve as many people as quickly as possible.

Extended office hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays

During the filing season, the IRS has also been providing extended office hours at many TACs nationwide. The added hours will end on Tuesday, April 16. To see if a nearby office is participating in the program, check its listing on the IRS/taclocator. Taxpayers can walk in or make appointments for service during extended hours. Cash payments are accepted during the additional office time, but taxpayers must have an appointment at a TAC currently accepting cash.
Normally, TACs are open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and provide service by appointment only. To make an appointment, call 844-545-5640.

Services provided

The IRS's Contact Your Local Office site lists all services provided at specific TACs. Tax return preparation is not a service offered at IRS TACs during these events or any operating hours. The IRS will provide information to anyone needing to find free local tax preparation resources. Additionally, File your return on gives step-by-step information on how to file individual tax returns.

If someone has questions about a tax bill or IRS audit, or if they need help resolving a tax problem, they'll receive assistance from IRS employees specializing in those services. If these employees aren't available, the individual will receive a referral for these services. IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service employees may also be available to help with some issues.

Professional foreign language interpretation will be available in many languages through an over-the-phone translation service. For deaf or hard of hearing individuals who need sign language interpreter services, IRS staff will schedule appointments for a later date. Alternatively, these individuals can call TTY/TDD 800-829-4059 to make an appointment.

During the visit, IRS staff may also request the following information:
  • A current mailing address,
  • Proof of financial account information included on a tax return to receive payments or refunds by direct deposit.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Boston Globe: "IRS will offer a new option to file your tax return in 13 states — and Massachusetts is one of them"

"In 2024, some taxpayers will have for the first time a new filing option that many advocates have been demanding for years: A free tax preparation software program, like TurboTax or its competitors, created by the IRS.

For its first filing season, the program, Direct File, will be available in only 13 states and won’t be suitable for all taxpayers, the IRS announced on Tuesday. If you want to be one of the first to try it out, you’ll need a special invitation.

Selected taxpayers will get invitations around mid-February, an IRS official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the program before Tuesday’s announcement.

If all goes well with those early filers, the official said, the program will gradually open up to more users. By the time of the tax filing deadline in April, the IRS’s goal is that the program will be open to anyone who wants to use it in the 13 eligible states. The IRS said in an email Tuesday that the agency anticipates hundreds of thousands of users."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)  

Read the IRS press release, no subscription required

The IRS plans to invite a select group of taxpayers across 13 states to try out the agency’s pilot electronic free file tax return system, beginning this January.PATRICK SEMANSKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS
The IRS plans to invite a select group of taxpayers across 13 states to try out the agency’s pilot electronic free file tax return system, beginning this January.PATRICK SEMANSKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sunday, April 9, 2023

IRS data shows "High-Income Households Are Not Fleeing Massachusetts"

"Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data show that Massachusetts has low rates of out-migration among high-income households compared to other states. As a consequence, delivering large tax cuts to these few households to stem a non-existent exodus is misguided. Moreover, the best research shows that state tax levels have little impact on the decisions of high-income households about where to live. 
At the same time, tax cuts aimed at these few households would sacrifice revenue needed for public investments that address the challenges working families in Massachusetts face. These include the high cost of housing, childcare, and post-secondary education, as well as unreliable transportation systems.

A forthcoming review of IRS data from 2011-2020 (the most current such data available) by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that Massachusetts has a lower rate of out-migration among high-income households than all but nine other states.1 Notably, the Massachusetts average annual rate of out-migration among high-income households is lower than rates in seven of the nine states that have no income tax at all. 
(Presenting out-migration data as rates – rather than simply by the total numbers of movers –  allows a proper comparison among states, regardless of differences in the states’ overall population sizes. It also makes sense to look directly at out-migration separate from in-migration because there can be different issues driving these decisions.)"
Continue reading the article online -> 

Saturday, December 24, 2022

IRS: delay announced for implementation of $600 reporting threshold for third-party payment platforms

"The Internal Revenue Service said on Friday that it was delaying by one year a new tax policy that will require users of digital wallets and e-commerce platforms to start reporting small transactions to the tax collection agency.

The delay followed bipartisan backlash from lawmakers and an uproar from small-business owners, who only recently became aware of the tax change.

The I.R.S. said the delay was intended to provide a smooth transition period for taxpayers to comply with the policy, which was part of the American Rescue Plan of 2021 and was supposed to take effect this year. Many users of services such as Venmo, PayPal, Zelle, Cash App, StubHub and Etsy only recently became aware that they would be receiving I.R.S. tax forms associated with their transactions, sowing fears of surprise tax bills."
Continue reading the article online ->

The Boston Globe also has coverage of this delay ->

The Etsy Inc. website on a laptop computer arranged in Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands on Feb. 19, 2021.GABBY JONES/BLOOMBERG
The Etsy Inc. website on a laptop computer arranged in Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands on Feb. 19, 2021.GABBY JONES/BLOOMBERG

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

IRS reminds those over age 72 to start withdrawals from IRAs and retirement plans to avoid penalties

The Internal Revenue Service today (Dec 12, 2022) reminded those who were born in 1950 or earlier that funds in their retirement plans and individual retirement arrangements face important upcoming deadlines for required minimum distributions to avoid penalties.

Required minimum distributions, or RMDs, are minimum amounts that many retirement plan and IRA account owners must generally withdraw annually after they reach age 72. Account owners can delay taking their first RMD until April 1 following the later of the calendar year they reach age 72 or, in a workplace retirement plan, retire. RMDs are taxable income and may be subject to penalties if not timely taken. 

Required minimum distributions
Required minimum distributions

IRAs: The RMD rules require traditional IRA, and SEP, SARSEP, and SIMPLE IRA account holders to begin taking distributions at age 72, even if they're still working. Account holders reaching age 72 in 2022 must take their first RMD by April 1, 2023, and the second RMD by December 31, 2023, and each year thereafter.

Retirement Plans: In 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans; profit-sharing and other defined contribution plans; and defined benefit plans, the first RMD is due by April 1 of the later of the year they reach age 72, or the participant is no longer employed (if allowed by the plan). A 5% owner of the employer must begin taking RMDs at age 72.

RMDs may not be rolled over to another IRA or retirement plan. See the RMD Comparison Chart that highlights some of the basic RMD rules that apply to IRAs and defined contribution plans. Roth IRAs do not require distributions while the original owner is alive.

RMD Calculations and 50% tax on missed distributions
An IRA trustee, or plan administrator, must either report the amount of the RMD to the IRA owner or offer to calculate it. An IRA owner, or trustee, must calculate the RMD separately for each IRA owned. They may be able to withdraw the total amount from one or more of the IRAs. However, RMDs from workplace retirement plans must be taken separately from each plan.

Not taking a required distribution, or not withdrawing enough, could mean a 50% excise tax on the amount not distributed. The IRS has worksheets to calculate the RMD and payout periods.

Inherited IRAs
An RMD may be required for an IRA, retirement plan account or Roth IRA inherited from the original owner. Retirement Topics - Beneficiary has information on taking RMDs from an inherited IRA or retirement account and reporting taxable distributions as part of gross income. Publication 559, Survivors, Executors and Administrators, can help those in charge of the estate complete and file federal income tax returns, and explains their responsibility to pay any taxes due on behalf of the decedent or person who has died.

2020 coronavirus-related distribution
Since 2020 RMDs were waived, an account owner or beneficiary who received an RMD in 2020 had the option of returning it to their IRA or other qualified plan to avoid paying taxes on that distribution. A 2020 RMD that qualified as a coronavirus-related distribution may be repaid over a 3-year period or have the taxes due on the distribution spread over three years.

A 2020 withdrawal from an inherited IRA could not be repaid to the inherited IRA but may be spread over three years for income inclusion. For more information see the Coronavirus Relief for Retirement Plans and IRAs page.

Taxpayers can find forms, instructions, publications, Frequently Asked Questions regarding Required Minimum Distributions and other easy-to-use tools at

Friday, November 25, 2022

No, that’s not the IRS texting about a tax refund or rebate. It’s a scam.

No, that’s not the IRS texting about a tax refund or rebate. It’s a scam

IRS impersonators have been around for a while. But as more people get to know their tricks, they're switching it up. 

So instead of contacting you about a tax debt and making threats to get you to pay up, scammers may send you a text about a "tax rebate" or some other tax refund or benefit. 

No, that’s not the IRS texting about a tax refund or rebate. It’s a scam
No, that’s not the IRS texting about a tax refund or rebate. It’s a scam

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

IRS continues with Dirty Dozen this week

The Internal Revenue Service today kicked off the week with the 5th item on its 2022 annual Dirty Dozen scams warning list, with a sad reminder that criminals still use the COVID-19 pandemic to steal people's money and identity with bogus emails, social media posts and unexpected phone calls, among other things.

These scams can take a variety of forms, including using unemployment information and fake job offers to steal money and information from people. All of these efforts can lead to sensitive personal information being stolen, with scammers using this to try filing a fraudulent tax return as well as harming victims in other ways.

"Scammers continue using the pandemic as a device to scare or confuse potential victims into handing over their hard-earned money or personal information," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "I urge everyone to be leery of suspicious calls, texts and emails promising benefits that don't exist."

The IRS has compiled the annual Dirty Dozen list for more than 20 years as a way of alerting taxpayers and the tax professional community about scams and schemes. The list is not a legal document or a literal listing of agency enforcement priorities. It is designed to raise awareness among a variety of audiences that may not always be aware of developments involving tax administration.

"Caution and awareness are our best lines of defense against these criminals," Rettig added. "Everyone should verify information on a trusted government website, such as"

A common scam the IRS continues to see during this period involves using crises that affect all or most people in the nation, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the scams for which people should continue to be on the lookout include:

Economic Impact Payment and tax refund scams: Identity thieves who try to use Economic Impact Payments (EIPs), also known as stimulus payments, are a continuing threat to individuals. Similar to tax refund scams, taxpayers should watch out for these tell-tale signs of a scam:

Any text messages, random incoming phone calls or emails inquiring about bank account information, requesting recipients to click a link or verify data should be considered suspicious and deleted without opening. This includes not just stimulus payments, but tax refunds and other common issues.

Remember, the IRS won't initiate contact by phone, email, text or social media asking for Social Security numbers or other personal or financial information related to Economic Impact Payments. Also be alert to mailbox theft. Routinely check your mail and report suspected mail losses to postal inspectors.

Reminder: The IRS has issued all Economic Impact Payments. Most eligible people already received their stimulus payments. People who are missing a stimulus payment or got less than the full amount may be eligible to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 or 2021 federal tax return. Taxpayers should remember that the IRS website,, is the agency's official website for information on payments, refunds and other tax information.

Unemployment fraud leading to inaccurate taxpayer 1099-Gs: Because of the pandemic, many taxpayers lost their jobs and received unemployment compensation from their state. However, scammers also took advantage of the pandemic by filing fraudulent claims for unemployment compensation using stolen personal information of individuals who had not filed claims. Payments made on these fraudulent claims went to the identity thieves.

Taxpayers should also be on the lookout for a Form 1099-G reporting unemployment compensation they didn't receive. For people in this situation, the IRS urges them to contact their appropriate state agency for a corrected form. If a corrected form cannot be obtained so that a taxpayer can file a timely tax return, taxpayers should complete their return claiming only the unemployment compensation and other income they actually received. See Identity Theft and Unemployment Benefits for tax details and for state-by-state reporting information.

Fake employment offers posted on social media: There have been many reports of fake job postings on social media. The pandemic created many newly unemployed people eager to seek new employment. These fake posts entice their victims to provide their personal financial information. This creates added tax risk for people because this information in turn can be used to file a fraudulent tax return for a fraudulent refund or used in some other criminal endeavor.

Fake charities that steal your money: Bogus charities are always a problem. They tend to be a bigger threat when there is a national crisis like the pandemic.

Taxpayers who give money or goods to a charity may be able to claim a deduction on their federal tax return. Taxpayers must donate to a qualified charity to get a deduction. To check the status of a charity, use the IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search tool.

Here are some tips to remember about fake charity scams:

  • Individuals should never let any caller pressure them. A legitimate charity will be happy to get a donation at any time, so there's no rush. Donors are encouraged to take time to do the research.
  • Potential donors should ask the fundraiser for the charity's exact name, web address and mailing address, so it can be confirmed later. Some dishonest telemarketers use names that sound like large well-known charities to confuse people.
  • Be careful how a donation is paid. Donors should not work with charities that ask them to pay by giving numbers from a gift card or by wiring money. That's how scammers ask people to pay. It's safest to pay by credit card or check — and only after having done some research on the charity.

For more information about avoiding fake charities, visit the Federal Trade Commission website

Shared from the IRS ->

IRS continues with Dirty Dozen this week
IRS continues with Dirty Dozen this week

Friday, April 15, 2022

Try first for last-minute tax help and tips

Today's Internal Revenue Service website provides millions with the tax solutions they need 24 hours a day and eliminates unnecessary calls or trips to an IRS office. On, waiting in line is never a problem and there's no appointment needed.

The many online tools and resources range from tax preparation and refund tracking to tax law research tools like the Interactive Tax Assistant and answers for Frequently Asked Questions on dozens of subjects.

File taxes, view accounts, make payments – all online!

Taxpayers can use the "File" tab on the home page for most federal income tax needs. The IRS Free File program offers 70% of all taxpayers the choice of several brand-name tax preparation software packages to use at no cost. Those who earned less than $73,000 in 2021 can choose which package is best for them. Some even offer free state tax return preparation.

To see their tax account, taxpayers can use the View Your Account tool. They'll find information such as a payoff amount, the balance for each tax year owed, up to 24 months of their payment history and key information from their current tax year return as originally filed.

Taxpayers can find the most up-to-date information about tax refunds using the "Where's My Refund?" tool on and on the official IRS mobile app, IRS2Go. Within 24 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of an e-filed return taxpayers can start checking on the status of their refund.

Those who owe can use IRS Direct Pay to pay taxes for the Form 1040 series, estimated taxes or other associated forms directly from a checking or savings account at no cost.

Taxpayers can also use the Get Transcript tool to view, print or download their tax transcripts after the IRS processes their return or payment.

File complete and accurate returns to avoid processing delays

To avoid situations that can slow a refund, taxpayers should be careful to file a complete and accurate tax return. If a return includes errors or is incomplete, it may require further review.

Taxpayers should be sure to have all their year-end statements in hand before filing a return. This includes Forms W-2 from employers, Form 1099-G from state unemployment offices, Forms 1099 from banks and other payers, and Form 1095-A from the Health Insurance Marketplace for those claiming the Premium Tax Credit.

Individuals should refer to Letter 6419 for advance Child Tax Credit payments and Letter 6475 for third Economic Impact Payment amounts they received– or their Online Account – to prepare a correct tax return. Claiming incorrect tax credit amounts can not only delay IRS processing, but can also lead to adjusted refund amounts.

Assistive technology options

At the online Alternative Media Center (AMC), taxpayers will find a variety of accessible products like screen reading software, refreshable Braille displays and screen magnifying software. These products include tax forms, instructions and publications that can be downloaded or viewed online as Section 508 compliant PDF, HTML, eBraille, text and large print. Please note that every product is not available in all formats. For example, tax forms are not available as HTML documents.

Prevent fraud with an Identity Protection PIN

An Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) is a six-digit number that prevents someone from filing a tax return using another taxpayer's Social Security number. The IP PIN is known only to the real taxpayer and the IRS and helps the IRS verify the taxpayer's identity when they file their electronic or paper tax return.

Starting in 2021, any taxpayer who can verify their identity can voluntarily opt into the IP PIN program. See Get an IP PIN for details and to access the online tool. There are options for those who cannot verify their identities online.

Find free, local tax preparation

The IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program has operated for over 50 years. It offers free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals:

  • People who generally make $58,000 or less,
  • People with disabilities and
  • Limited English-speaking taxpayers.

The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program also offers free tax help for taxpayers, particularly those age 60 and older.

The VITA/TCE Site Locator can help eligible taxpayers find the nearest community-based site staffed by IRS-trained and certified volunteers. Demand is high for this service so taxpayers may experience longer wait times for appointments. Taxpayers can use the locator tool to find an available site near them. It's updated throughout the tax season, so individuals should check back if they don't see a nearby site listed.

And MilTax, Military OneSource's tax service, offers online software for eligible military members, veterans and their families to electronically file a federal return and up to three state returns for free.

Adjust withholding now to avoid tax surprises next year

Now is a perfect time for taxpayers to check their withholding and avoid a tax surprise next filing season. Life events like marriage, divorce, having a child or a change in income can all impact taxes.

The Withholding Estimator on helps employees assess their income tax, credits, adjustments and deductions, and determine whether they need to change their withholding by submitting a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate. Taxpayers should remember that, if needed, they should submit their new W-4 to their employer, not the IRS.

Phone assistance and in-person appointments during COVID-19

The IRS works hard to provide quality service to taxpayers while actively responding to the impacts of the pandemic and focusing on the safety and health of taxpayers and employees.

The IRS encourages people to use existing electronic tools available on as much as possible before calling and continues its efforts to develop more resources to help meet taxpayer needs.

For example, voice bots helped people calling the Economic Impact Payment (EIP) toll-free line, providing general procedural responses to frequently asked questions. As of April 9, 2022, nearly 2.5 million taxpayers had their questions answered through electronic assistance. The IRS also added voice bots for the Advanced Child Tax Credit (AdvCTC) toll-free line this year to provide similar assistance to callers who need help reconciling the credits on their 2021 tax return. As of April 9, 2022, almost 200,000 taxpayers' queries were answered through these bots.

The IRS also continues to provide face-to-face tax assistance at Taxpayer Assistance Centers by appointment when necessary and at walk-in Saturday events. The IRS follows Centers for Disease Control social distancing guidelines for COVID-19 at all office appointments. 

Try first for last-minute tax help and tips
Try first for last-minute tax help and tips

Thursday, April 7, 2022

“In the year 2022, this doesn’t just seem crazy. It is crazy."

"Here, at last, is the real reason your tax return is delayed: It’s not the pandemic. It’s that the IRS handles too much paper and has failed to adopt scanning technology that could have significantly reduced the current backlog of returns.

The way the agency processes paper is “archaic” and was a problem that was fixable long before the coronavirus shut things down, National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins wrote in her latest blog about the 2022 tax season.

Last year, the IRS received nearly 17 million paper 1040 forms, more than 4 million individual amended returns and millions of paper business returns, according to Collins.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around it: Employees transcribe all of those millions of paper tax returns manually."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required) 

Please consider filing your taxes online, it will help get them processed quicker than if you print the forms and mail them in.

Erin M. Collins, the national taxpayer advocate, in 2020. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)
Erin M. Collins, the national taxpayer advocate, in 2020. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

IRS launches resource page on with latest details and information for taxpayers during filing season

To help taxpayers and tax professionals, the Internal Revenue Service today announced a special new page on to provide the latest details and information affecting the 2022 filing season and ongoing efforts by the agency to address the inventory of previously filed tax returns.

During this tax season, taxpayers face a number of issues due to critical tax law changes that took place in 2021 and ongoing challenges related to the pandemic. To raise awareness about these issues and provide people with the latest timely information, the IRS has created a special tax season web page. This page will provide people with a quick overview of information to help people filing tax returns as well as those who have previous year tax returns awaiting processing by the IRS.

"The IRS is taking numerous steps to keep this tax season going smoothly while also taking additional action to address the inventory of tax returns filed last year," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "We're off to a good start processing tax returns and issuing refunds. But we want people to have an easy way to see the latest information. This new page provides a one-stop shop for the latest key information people and the tax community may need."

The "special tax season alerts" page will be available through the home page and shared through social media and other channels.

The page will include the latest filing season updates. The IRS began tax season on January 24, and in less than two weeks more than 4 million tax refunds have gone out worth nearly $10 billon. Millions more will go out in the weeks ahead as the IRS enters an important period of the tax season.

The page also includes links to important information related to ongoing efforts by the IRS to address the inventory of unprocessed tax returns filed before this year. This includes steps to stop more than a dozen common letters to taxpayers, and updates on IRS operations and the number of unprocessed tax returns.

"The combination of the pandemic, new tax laws and numerous other factors led to an unprecedented amount of unprocessed tax returns and correspondence remaining in the IRS inventory during 2021," Rettig said. "We must continue pursuing innovative strategies while supporting the hard work and dedication of our employees to fulfill our commitment to return inventories to a healthy level before entering the 2023 filing season. These steps are making a difference. Refunds for tax returns and amended tax returns in the inventory continue to flow out to taxpayers."

The IRS continues to urge taxpayers to carefully review their tax filings for accuracy and file electronically with direct deposit to speed refunds. Special tips are available in several places on, including these top 5 tips; basics on the 2022 tax season and IRS Tax Time Guide. 

Shared from the IRS page ->

IRS launches resource page on
IRS launches resource page on

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Get ready for taxes: Bookmark resources and online tools to use before, during and after filing

The Internal Revenue Service today (1/14/22) encouraged taxpayers to use IRS online tools and resources to find the information they need to be ready to file their 2021 federal tax returns, including important special steps related to Economic Impact Payments and advance Child Tax Credit payments.

Individuals, especially those who don't usually file a tax return, are urged to file their 2021 tax return electronically beginning Jan. 24, 2022. Using tax preparation software or a trusted tax professional will help guide people through the process and avoid making errors. Filing an incomplete or inaccurate return may mean a processing delay that slows the resulting tax refund.

"There are some simple steps people can take to make sure they avoid delays and receive a quick refund," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "It's critical this year to avoid a paper tax return whenever possible and file electronically with direct deposit. And it's more important than ever to make sure you're filing an accurate tax return. The IRS urges people to review some straightforward tips that can help them avoid problems and get their tax refunds quickly."

This is the third in a series of reminders to help taxpayers get ready for the upcoming tax filing season. A special page, updated and available on, outlines steps taxpayers can take now to make tax filing easier. tools are easy to use and available 24 hours a day. Millions of people use them to find information about their accounts, get answers to tax questions or file and pay taxes.

Recovery Rebate Credit / Economic Impact Payments
Individuals who didn't qualify for a third Economic Impact Payment or got less than the full amount may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit. They will need to know the total amount of their third Economic Impact Payments received to calculate their correct 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit amount when they file their 2021 tax return. Ensuring they use the correct payment amounts will help them avoid a processing delay that may slow their refund. Beginning in late January, the IRS will send Letter 6475 with the total amount of the third Economic Impact Payment received. People can also view their economic impact payments using their Online Account.

Advance Child Tax Credit payments
People will need to know the total amount of advance payments they received in 2021 to compare them with the full amount of the Child Tax Credit that they can properly claim when they file their 2021 tax return. People who received the advance payments can access their online account to check the total amount of their payments. The IRS is also sending Letter 6419 to provide the total amount of advance Child Tax Credit payments received in 2021. Eligible families who did not get monthly advance payments in 2021 can still get a lump-sum payment by claiming the Child Tax Credit when they file a 2021 federal income tax return this year. This includes families who don't normally need to file a return.

Interactive Tax Assistant
The Interactive Tax Assistant answers general tax law questions, including helping to determine if a type of income is taxable or if someone is eligible to claim certain credits and deductions. With changes to income and other life events for many in 2021, tax credits and deductions can mean more money in a taxpayer's pocket. Thinking about eligibility now can help make tax filing easier.

Online Account
Taxpayers can use their Online Account to securely see important information when preparing to file their tax return or following up on balances or notices. Taxpayers can view the amount they owe, make and track payments and view payment plan details. Taxpayers can now also manage their communication preferences to go paperless for certain notices from the IRS, or to receive email notifications when the IRS sends them a new digital notice. They can also access information about Economic Impact Payments and advance Child Tax Credit payments needed to file a complete and accurate return. Act now to create an account.

Where's My Refund?
Taxpayers can check the status of their refund using the Where's My Refund? tool. The status is available within 24 hours after the IRS accepts their e-filed tax return or up to four weeks after they mailed a paper return. The Where's My Refund? tool updates once every 24 hours, usually overnight, so taxpayers only need to check once a day.

Get ready to use direct deposit for tax refunds
Direct deposit gives taxpayers access to their refund faster than a paper check. Individuals can use a bank account, prepaid debit card or mobile app to use direct deposit and will need to provide routing and account numbers. Learn how to open an account at an FDIC-Insured bank or through the National Credit Union Locator Tool. Veterans should see the Veterans Benefits Banking Program for access to financial services at participating banks.

IRS Free File
Everyone can file electronically for free. Starting January 14, the IRS Free File program, available only through or the IRS2Go app, offers brand-name tax preparation software packages. For those who earned $73,000 or less in 2021, they may qualify for Free File guided tax software. The software does all the work of finding deductions, credits and exemptions. Some of the Free File offers may include a free state tax return. Taxpayers comfortable filling out tax forms, can use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic federal tax forms paper version to file their tax returns online, regardless of income.

Members of the military and qualifying veterans can use MilTax, a Department of Defense program that generally offers free online tax preparation and e-filing software for federal returns and up to three state returns.

Free Tax Return preparation site
The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free tax help and e-file for taxpayers who qualify.

Choosing a preparer
The IRS has several options for finding a tax preparer. The IRS provides an online database to help taxpayers locate an authorized e-file provider in their area who can electronically file their tax return. Choosing a Tax Professional provides information for selecting a tax professional. The Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications can help taxpayers find preparers in their area who currently hold professional credentials recognized by the IRS, or who hold an Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion. Taxpayers need to remember that they, not the tax preparer, are responsible for information on their tax return once they sign it.
Links to online tools, publications, and other helpful resources are available on the page. For more information about planning ahead, see Publication 5348, Get Ready to File and Publication 5349, Year-Round Tax Planning is for Everyone.

Get ready for taxes: Bookmark resources and online tools to use before, during and after filing
Get ready for taxes: Bookmark resources and online tools to use before, during and after filing