- Personal Finance
Help With Your Taxes - Who and What can help with Filing?
Getting the Tax Help You Need
People seek help with filing their taxes for all kinds of reasons. Some people just are confused by the whole thing, but very often they just want someone to double check things for them. What if there are ways to keep more of your money? Some worry about getting an audit. Regardless of the reasons may be, as many as half of all taxpayers use some kind of professional preparer, or accountant. Those that don't get help from a preparer or accountant, still often seek out help from tax guides, helpful friends and family, computer programs, books, etc.
The Internal Revenue Service can help
While the IRS provides a few different ways to get assistance with tax filing, they may not always have goal of saving you money. There are well over a hundred free IRS materials on all kinds of tax subjects out there. There is a comprehensive Publication 17 for instance, called "Your Federal Income Tax." There are many ways to order them such as calling 1-800-829-3676, or online by Telnet or by the postal service. If by mail, you can use the 3 regional forms distribution centers.
You can also call and get free assistance over the telephone. I found it curious though that even the IRS has stated that the information is not always 100 percent accurate, by their own admission.
There is a recorded information service that might be helpful as well. It is called TeleTax. The phone number is 1-800-829-4477. You can call anytime of the day or night every day of the week. They offer help on over a hundred different topics. So there is help out there, you just have to know who to get it from. Sometimes a large city will have their own numbers, and those can be looked up online or in phone books.
By simply walking into a local IRS office, you can often get some help with filing your taxes as well. Often, you can find a people to assist you there (assisters) who will help you prepare your tax return. There is special help as well, for people that are either blind or are hearing impaired or those that aren't fluent yet in their English. Call ahead to see which IRS offices are best equipped to help with those things.
More Help with Filing your Taxes
Local Public Libraries
Your local public library will also have help available in the form of books, DVDs (and VHS tapes still), audio help which are supplied by the IRS. They provide step by step instructions for filling out the different tax forms and schedules out there (like A and B).
The IRS has created "movies" in both English and Spanish to explain the whole tax system and what it involves. They explain the auditing process, and provide information to help single parents and people that are retired. Groups and organizations can get all of these on loan, totally free.
By doing your own taxes, you can save some money and there is a lot of help for people in that scenario. There are thousands of pages of helps in the local bookstore and library. There are literally volumes of information out there to give help to you. Many of these voluminous guides are updated yearly to account for any possible changes. While the information is the same as the IRS's information, its in a more digestible format.
Finally, there are many computer programs out there now that can be of help. This may be one of the easiest ways to file now. They have become more popular over the years and also become less expensive. It is a great deal when you consider they help reduce stress, the amount of time and also money involved, and also that it catches errors. You may have more particular questions about your taxes and should seek out help with those things. Generally speaking though, this is a great way to go.
So, as you can see there is a great amount of help to be had out there regarding filing your taxes. There really is no excuse for not filing, and I am sure you would agree there isn't much more that the IRS can do than what has been done already, and for free, to help people do what they ought to be doing in the first place.