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Tax Tip: Find Easy-to-Use Online Tools on IRS.gov
If you need tax help, the IRS has many online tools. You can e-file your tax return, check your refund status or get your tax questions answered. Best of all, you can use the tools on IRS.gov any time. Wayne Lai, a WNDE tax manager, said, “The IRS provides an assortment of filing tools on the website. They provide sources for taxpayers to prepare and file their federal income taxes for free, sources for low income taxpayers to get free tax help and sources for taxpayers to locate paid tax preparers with select credentials and qualifications.”
Here’s a list of popular online, self-help tools that millions have used for free:
- IRS Free File. Use IRS Free File to prepare and e-file your federal tax return at no cost. Free File will do much of the work for you with brand-name tax software or Fillable Forms. The only way to use IRS Free File is through IRS.gov.
- Where’s My Refund? Checking the status of your tax refundis easy with Where’s My Refund? You can also use this tool with the IRS2Go mobile app. This tool is the most useful on the IRS website, believes Wayne. He said, “This tool allows taxpayers to check the status of their tax returns so they can find out whether their federal tax returns have been processed, when their tax refunds were approved and when they expect to receive their refunds via check o r direct deposit.”
The IRS also rolled out an app called “IRS2Go,” he noted, in which taxpayers can check the status of their refunds on their phones.
- Direct Pay. Use IRS Direct Pay to pay your taxes or pay your estimated tax directly from your checking or savings account. Direct Pay is safe, easy and free. This tool walks you through five simple steps to pay your tax in a single online session. You can also use Direct Pay with the IRS2Go mobile app.
- Online Payment Agreement. If you can’t pay your taxes in full, apply for an Online Payment Agreement. The Direct Debit payment plan option is a lower-cost, hassle-free way to make monthly payments.
- Withholding Calculator. Did you get a larger refund or owe more tax than you expected the last time you filed taxes? If so, you may want to change the amount of tax withheld from your paycheck. The Withholding Calculator tool can help you determine if you need to give your employer a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate and provide information that will help you fill out the form too. Give the new Form W-4 to your employer to make the change. Wayne believes the withholding calculator is another handy tool. To have this calculator be as accurate as it can be, he said, users need to be as accurate as they can be in providing income and deduction estimates. The calculator will provide users with their anticipated income tax amounts and compare those with their current withholding arrangements, and make appropriate recommendations to have the withholdings more closely match the anticipated tax amounts. He remarked, “This is a very useful tool for W-2 taxpayers to estimate their federal tax liabilities and determine if their withholding arrangements are appropriate.”
- Interactive Tax Assistant. The ITA tool is a tax-law resource that takes you through a series of questions and provides you with responses to tax law questions. For instance, you can find out if you may need to make an individual shared responsibility payment or if you are eligible for an exemption, when you file your taxes. You can also use the tool to find out if you may be eligible for the premium tax credit.
- IRS Select Check. If you want to deduct your gift to charity, donate to a qualified organization. Use the IRS Select Check tool to see if a charity is qualified.
- Tax Map. The IRS Tax Map offers tax law information by subject. It integrates web links, tax forms, instructions and publications related to your topic into one search result.
Wayne concluded, “These online tools are extremely helpful for individuals who like to be somewhat hands-on with their own taxes. However, one should still consult a tax professionals for the best result.”
IRS YouTube Videos:
- Welcome to Free File – English
- When Will I Get My Refund? – English | Spanish | ASL
- IRS2Go Mobile App – English | Spanish | ASL
- IRS Tax Payment Options – English | Spanish | ASL
- IRS Withholding Calculator – English | Spanish | ASL
- Interactive Tax Assistant – English | ASL
- When Will I Get My Refund – English | Spanish
- IRS2Go Mobile App – English | Spanish
- IRS Tax Payment Options – Spanish
- IRS Withholding Calculator – English | Spanish
- Interactive Tax assistant – English
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