The 2020 tax year is upon us, and some people may want a little extra help before filing their returns this year.
The IRS offers a range of powerful online tools to help customers meet their tax obligations. These tools have been designed to help you save time and money, as well as assist you in finding tax benefits you might be eligible for.
IRS Free File
Eligible families, especially those with children, can save some money in 2020, plus find tax benefits they may be eligible for such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, with IRS Free File. If your 2019 adjusted gross income is $69,000 or less, Free File offers free online tax preparation and vastly reduces tax return mistakes, as the tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts for missing information.
Free Tax Preparation Help
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $56,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. In addition to VITA, the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those aged sixty or older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors. Both the VITA and TCE programs are available at community sites located around the country.
The fastest way to get your refund is to have it electronically deposited for free into your bank account. Direct Deposit also allows you to split your refund and place it into accounts under your name, your spouse's, or both. It's simple, safe and secure.
The IRS app allows you to check the status of a refund within 24 hours after the IRS receives your electronically filed return (e-file). You can also make a payment, find free tax help, sign up for tax tips, and much more.
Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA)
IRS offers an online tool that provides answers to a number of tax law questions. It can determine if a type of income is taxable, if you're eligible to claim certain credits, and if you can deduct expenses on your tax return. It also provides answers for general questions, such as determining your filing status, if you can claim dependents, if you have to file a tax return, etc.
Missing Form W-2
If you have not received a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, from one or more employers, then first contact the issuer to inform them of the missing form. If you do not receive a response in time to file, then you may need to use Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, or Form 1099R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans and IRA's Insurance Contracts to report the income.
Military and Veterans Assistance
The Tax Information for Members of the Military page on IRS.gov provides details on tax benefits and filing options.
If you owe taxes, then you can opt to mail a check or money order payable to the
United States Treasury along with a Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher, or choose any of the other secure and easy electronic payment options that provide immediate confirmation, such as IRS Direct Pay. If you owe less than $50,000 in taxes and are unable to pay by the tax deadline, then you may qualify for a monthly IRS Online Payment Agreement.
The IRS encourages everyone to use the Tax Withholding Estimator to perform a
paycheck checkup. This will help you make sure the right amount of tax is withheld from your paycheck to protect against an unexpected tax bill or penalty next year. At the same time, you may prefer less tax withheld up front, so you receive more in your paychecks and get a smaller refund at tax time.
Tax-related identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information to commit tax fraud. Your taxes can be affected if your Social Security number is used to file a fraudulent return or to claim a refund or credit. As a result, the IRS has designed the Identity Theft Central resource page to explain how to report identity theft, along with how to protect yourself against phishing, online scams and more.
This information is provided for educational purposes. It is not intended to provide tax advice. For advice on your specific circumstances, consult a qualified professional.