It’s that time again! How and where to find reliable IRS tax information
There’s probably not one person who looks forward to preparing and filing their taxes. Nonetheless, it’s got to be done. Unless you are lucky enough to be able to use the 1040-EZ form, wading through the IRS tax information booklet is more than most of us can manage, with accurate results. If you’re like me, attempting this on your own will give you a migraine and at least one error in the end. In any case, it’s highly recommended that you use a professional tax preparation service or software.
If your income is not too high, you can file your federal taxes online at no cost. However, most of the free online tax preparation services do charge a nominal fee for preparing your state taxes. If you are aged 50 or over, your local AARP office will prepare and file your federal and state taxes electronically, at no cost. You can also purchase tax preparation software for about $20.
The Internal Revenue Service has set the opening day for the 2020 filing season as Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. That’s the day the tax agency will begin accepting and processing 2019 tax year returns.Source: https://www.syracuse.com/news/2020/01/irs-sets-opening-date-for-2020-tax-filing-season.html
Given the complexity of the IRS tax code, software or a professional tax preparer is the way to go. Either option walks you through the tax filing process using plain language. However, the accuracy of the tax return is only as good as the data you submit. So it’s wise to do a little research on your own to be sure you have all the required information before you begin. The question is, how and where do you find IRS tax information you can take to the bank?
If you have any questions as to what counts as income or what deductions you might be eligible for, make a list. While the IRS website does cover everything in great detail, navigating the site isn’t any easier than reading the IRS tax information booklet! Your best bet is to call the IRS tax information 800 number and speak with an IRS tax expert. When you call, be sure to ask for that person’s ID or employee number – they don’t give out names – and make a note of the date and time you spoke with that individual. Write down the answers your receive for each of your questions. Bring your list with you to your tax preparer, or have it handy as you’re using your tax software. The IRS tax information 800 service does log their calls. This way, you’ll have backup should a discrepancy arise.
The IRS website is helpful in that they have publications which cover every tax situation. For example, if you’re self employed, there’s a publication that gives you the scoop on which IRS tax schedules you’ll need and all the rules which pertain to your filing. This isn’t easy to digest material, but again, if you give the publication a quick look and highlight any points that are unclear, your tax preparer can address the issue. If you’re using tax software, give the IRS tax information 800 staff another call for clarification.
Following these steps will virtually assure that your tax return will be accepted, which is the fastest way to get that refund coming. If you do have a balance due, at least you’ll know that the IRS won’t come back on you later, with a penalty on unpaid taxes!