Filing a timely and accurate tax return can be one of life's greater challenges, particularly when the tax landscape shifts to accommodate national events. This was the case in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic when Congress stepped in to throw a few tax breaks at Americans. Some tax rules changed, then they changed back again in 2021. Fortunately, the IRS takes full advantage of the internet in its effort to keep everyone up to speed and to explain complicated tax issues.
IRS.gov provides answers to just about any question taxpayers might have. The Current Tax Tips page is one of the website's many offerings.
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The Current Tax Tips Webpage
The IRS.gov Current Tax Tips page is streamlined and efficient. You'll find a list of links to various articles, along with the date the IRS published each of them.
You don't even have to make the effort to go to the page and scan the titles for anything you're interested in. You can subscribe to Tax Tips to receive them via email. All you have to do is click on "e-News Subscriptions" on the left side of the Current Tax Tips page, then click on the IRS Tax Tips link and enter your email address.
The site provides a variety of other options on the left side of the page, too, including tabs you can click on for Topics in the News and Fact Sheets.
Current Tax Tips isn't just for individual taxpayers. It offers articles for employers and small businesses as well.
Available Topics and Content
Current Tax Tips covers a wide variety of topics, and the page isn't stagnant. A recent visit provided links that range from relatively simple topics, like an explanation of filing statuses and how to report changes in income for the Child Tax Credit, to more complicated issues including taxpayer rights and tips for avoiding tax scams.
You'll commonly find information here that will help you prepare and e-file your tax return, explanations of available tax deductions and credits and instructions for amending a return or requesting additional time to file your tax return.
Current Tax Tips isn't just for individual taxpayers. It offers articles for employers and small businesses as well. And you're not limited to the current month's offerings. You can retrieve tax tips from as far back as January 2011 by clicking on "Tax Tip Archive" at the bottom of the page. The tips are numbered by year.
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Other Assistance from the IRS
Current Tax Tips covers a wide variety of topics, but you might find that you're still left with questions. The IRS provides several other helpful options as well.
IRS Publication 17 is also available online. It's a more detailed instruction manual for filing your tax return, and it's available in several languages.
And if you find yourself in a position where you really can't prepare your own tax return, the IRS provides help here, too. It's formed the Free File Alliance with several tax preparation software companies (think TurboTax) that will let you prepare and file your tax return on their sites for free. These software providers will ask you some questions about your tax situation and use the information to provide you with a completed return.
Free File does have an income limit, however. It's not available to anyone who earns more than a certain amount, but the limits aren't prohibitive. It was $72,000 in 2021. The Free File site provides all the required tax forms if you earn more than the income limit. You can access them for free and prepare them yourself with guidance from Current Tax Tips. The forms can even be e-filed.
There are also in-person tax clinics scattered about the country, including the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs. You can do a search online to find out if either is available in your area and if you qualify for them.
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