Where To Go For Free Tax Advice
Unless you’re in the tax business, you likely have at least one question as your preparing your return each year. Where do you go if you have a question that isn’t answered (in language you can understand) by a simple Google search?
Get on the Phone
Yes, you can phone a friend although that friend is the IRS. 1-800-TAX-1040 is the number you call. The help line is staffed by IRS reps Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. your local time.
When you call, the person who answers will listen to your problem and route you to a professional with expertise in that area.
Before calling, look at the IRS webpage regarding assistance. Individuals call a different number than businesses and there’s an interactive online assistance page where you might find an answer faster. During tax season, phone support might come with a bit of a wait.
If you would rather talk to a live person, try one of the IRS’ Taxpayer Assistance Centers. The IRS says this: “IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TAC) are your source for personal tax help when you believe your tax issue cannot be handled online or by phone, and you want face-to-face tax assistance.”
Did you know that you have an advocate? The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS that acts as a mediator between you and the IRS should problems arise. It’s completely confidential and designed for people who have been unable to find a resolution through normal IRS channels. You can read more in IRS Publication 1546.
TurboTax Live Community
If you’re a TurboTax user (and even if you’re not) you can access the TurboTax live community where professionals answer questions submitted by other users. The database is extensive and although the questions are often answered by professionals, you can’t verify the credentials of the person answering. Don’t rely solely on the advice of any source outside of the IRS website.
The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program claims to be the largest free, volunteer-run tax assistance and preparation service that has helped 50 million low to moderate-income taxpayers since 1968.
Go to the program’s website where you can read articles, submit questions, and receive further help.
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