Although the tax deadline has passed, many Americans are still struggling to pay or even figure out what they owe. Fortunately, there are many resources available to those in this situation. Where can you find free tax relief advice? Consider five options available.
- Online assistance. IRS.gov provides an abundance of resources, including forms and instructions for filling them out. Additionally, taxpayers can file for free if they made less than $56,000 during the tax year. If you were unable to pay your taxes by the April deadline, you can access the IRS’s Online Payment Agreement via their website. Additional tools available online include a Withholding Calculator, an Alternative Minimum Tax Assistant, a Sales Tax Deduction Calculator and the EITC Assistant, which can help you determine if you are eligible for the Earned Income Tax credit. You can also access the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, which allows you to pay your taxes online. If you already filed your tax return, you can check the status of your refund via IRS.gov.
- Help over the telephone. Taxpayers can order forms and publications for free by calling (800) TAX-FORM. IRS representatives are also available by phone to answer your tax related questions. Call (800) 829-1040 for questions about your personal taxes and (800) 829-4933 for questions about business tax issues. If you don’t feel like waiting for a customer service representative, you can listen to the answers to frequently asked questions or check on your refund status by calling the automated system at (800) 829-4477.
- Talk in-person. The IRS provides Taxpayer Assistance Centers where individuals can meet in-person with IRS representatives. They can help with questions, adjustments, payment plans and many other tax issues. Locations are listed on IRS.gov. Tax preparation assistance is also available through many community organizations. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly and AARP are just a few groups that provide this service. Check your local newspapers and websites for local organizations. If you just need to pick up forms, check with your local post office or library. Although tax representatives are usually not present to answer your questions, these venues provide easy pick-ups for the documentation you need.
- Seek out an advocate. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent entity within the IRS. They seek to help taxpayers who are experiencing economic hardship or who have not been able to resolve their tax problems through the normal channels. TAS can be reached at (877) 777-4778. Additionally, Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are available for those that qualify. LITCs are independent organizations that help advocate on your behalf when a controversy arises with the IRS. Their services are free or for a small fee.
- Look to a professional. While free services abound, even within the IRS itself, it is advantageous to look to a professional firm that specializes in tax relief. Unlike the IRS and its assistance organizations, companies such as Optima Tax Relief have a mission to help individuals cope with aggressive IRS collection policies. You can be assured that you are the priority. Optima specializes in tax negotiation and settlement, audit defense, tax levies and liens, wage garnishment, back taxes and helping to limit interest and penalties.
We encourage taxpayers to seek all the resources available to them. Knowledge is power. Know your options. Optima Tax Relief offers a free consultation. Contact us today and start resolving your tax issues.