Get Your Tax Refund Sooner with
Filing your taxes may not be fun,
but the Internal Revenue Service is certainly making it easier to
file than ever. And if you use e-file, youll get any refund
a lot faster maybe half the time of mailing a paper form.
If you use direct deposit, its even faster.
What Is e-file Anyway?
IRS e-file is an electronic tax-filing
service. Individuals and businesses can file taxes electronically.
File from Your Computer
To file from
your computer, all you need is IRS-accepted tax preparation software
and a modem. You can find a list of tax software companies on the
List. (Scroll down the page and youll find e-filing
options for tax professionals and others.)
And if the sad news is that if you
owe taxes, the same page will tell you how to pay by credit card
if thats your choice. At least thats good news for those
who get air miles with their charge card purchases.
Or, Dont File from Your Computer
You can download
and fill-in tax forms (along with instructions) on your PC. Then,
just print and mail. This way you dont have to buy tax software.
Your only charge is postage. Visit the Forms
and Publications page.
Same good deal with IRS Tax Fax
Service, which provides fax on demand. In order to get tax forms
faxed, call 1 - 703 - 368-9694 from your fax machine and follow
the prompt instructions. Youll get the forms you request faxed
right back to your fax machine. If you dont know the numbers
of the forms and instructions you want, not to worry. You can get
a list faxed and proceed from there. This year this service is new
and improved with new software, hardware, and phone lines.
And, if you have a very simple form
to file, you can file directly from your touch-tone phone. If you
fall in this group, IRS will let you know. Youll get a TeleFile
tax booklet in the mail. Fill it out, but dont mail anything
back. Just pick up the phone anytime, day or night. It only takes
minutes. You can do this in the middle of the night in your bathrobe
and slippers and IRS wont care. They wont even know!
If You Need Help
Do you need
help preparing and electronically filing your federal (and possibly
your state) income tax return? IRS also has a neat e-file
Provider page that lets you plug in your zip code to find
the closest authorized tax professional or business.
If you, like
so many Americans, were victims of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes,
and other natural disasters in 1999, visit the IRS disaster
If you are
a teen, IRS also has this cool site called "TAXI"
(TAX-Interactive) to help you understand, like, taxes.
What if you are elderly or low income
and need help? Its available. Free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
(VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) are available
in certain sites, such as libraries, colleges and universities,
shopping malls, and senior centers. You can even ask for e-file
at these locations.
Just for Tax Professionals and
If you are
a tax professional, you can now order online the IRS-endorsed 1999
Federal Tax Products CD-ROM, which is sold in a two-release
set. You can even order prior-year tax forms and instructions. Fees
IRS also expects
to produce a Small Business Resource Guide, with tax advice,
links and business plans and all kinds of things a small business
owner needs to know about taxes. When this product is ready, IRS
will announce it on its homepage.
About the Author
Pat Wood, manager
of the National Partnership for Reinventing
Government website is also editor of Access
America Online Magazine. You may reach her at (202) 694-0063
Gets High Customer Satisfaction Rating for Online Filing