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Feeling Stuck? The 8 Most Commonly Asked Questions During Tax Season and Their Answers

February 15, 2017

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is reminding taxpayers that the next couple of weeks are the busiest time of year for IRS calls. Taxpayers can avoid the rush by getting answers to their questions on IRS.gov.

Read also: 6 Useful IRS Resources

Here are some common reasons people call the IRS so you can get the answers you need:

Where’s My Refund?

We can tell you from our experiences that the hold time when calling into the IRS is generally excruciatingly long. We recommend using the IRS' web-based tools. Taxpayers can easily find information about their refund by using the Where’s My Refund? tool, available online and through the mobile app IRS2Go.

The tool provides taxpayers with the most up-to-date information available. The IRS issues more than 90% of refunds in less than 21 days. IRS representatives cannot provide individual refund information before then.

Where's the nearest IRS office?

Be sure to make an appointment before visiting a Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC). However, this time of year also is a peak time for TAC visits. If you are unable to make an appointment, you can also find answers to their questions on the IRS website.

Need Answers to Tax Law Questions?

The Interactive Tax Assistant takes taxpayers through a series of questions the same way a customer service representatives would. Taxpayers may also use The 2016 Tax Guide for Individuals or the IRS Tax Map, which allows users to search for tax-law information by subject.

How do I find my prior year adjusted gross income (AGI)?

On a tax return, the AGI is on line 37 of the Form 1040; line 21 on the Form 1040-Aor line 4 on the Form 1040-EZ. If taxpayers changed tax software products this year, they may need to manually enter their adjusted gross income to complete the electronic filing process.

The IRS also has more information on validating your electronically filed tax return with options for taxpayers who did not retain a copy of their tax return.

I did not receive a Form W-2, what should I do?

Employers are required to send their employees a Form W-2, Statement of Earnings, by Jan. 31. If the form W-2 is not received by the end of February, employees should first contact their employer to ensure they have the correct mailing address on file. After exhausting all options with the employer, employees may contact the IRS. The IRS will send a letter to the employer. However, the IRS urges taxpayers to wait until after Feb. 27 to avoid long wait times on the telephone.

Where can I get a copy of my tax return or transcript?

Taxpayers can easily order a return or transcript on the IRS.gov website. Use the Get Transcript tool to download a transcript or have a transcript mailed. More information on these options is available at IRS.gov.

I am unable to pay a tax bill, what should I do?

If you believe you cannot pay a tax bill, the Online Payment Agreement tool can help determine whether you qualify for a payment by installment agreement with the IRS.

Can I get help with preparing my taxes?

Local community partners operate about 13,000 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) sites nationwide.

Read also: The Free Tax Filing Tool You Need This Tax Season

Taxpayers may also use a searchable directory on IRS.gov for help on finding a tax professional with credentials and select their needed qualifications to help them prepare their tax returns.

For more tips and information regarding retirement plans, contact us.

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