No maybe about it. Taxpayers will be calling the Internal Revenue Service this weekend as the April 18 tax return filing deadline looms.
The first two weeks of April usually are the busiest times of the year for IRS employees who staff the agency’s toll-free telephone help lines.
And since this is an unusually slow filing season — the IRS reports that as of April 7, it was still waiting on nearly 40 million taxpayers to file their 1040s — it’s likely to be cra-zee on the ol’ tax hotline help desk.
More time to call the IRS: Typically, the IRS staffs its toll-free phone lines Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. the caller’s local time. But it’s adding this Saturday to the mix.
IRS personnel will be on hand to answer your questions (or at least try) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (again, your local time) tomorrow, April 15. Sorry, no Sunday service. Even IRS workers get a day off.
An oh yeah, the toll-free number is (800) 829-1040.
Other help options: In-person tax help also is available at all IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs). Note, though, that the face-to-face assistance now requires an appointment for most services.
So instead of going directly to your local TAC, call (844) 545-5640 to reach an IRS representative. That person will either help you resolve your tax issue or try to schedule an appointment during these last few days of 2017’s main tax-filing season.
IRS-trained volunteers at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) sites also can help low- and middle-income and older taxpayers complete and efile their returns. There’s usually no or minimal cost for the VITA and/or TCE help.
You also can use its IRS.gov’s online search tool 24/7 to track down a tax topic and get the answer. There’s also the Interactive Tax Assistant where you can find answers to commonly-asked tax questions.
Free File is still there, too, where if your adjusted gross income, regardless of filing status, is $64,000 or less you can use one of the dozen tax preparation software offerings to finish your taxes.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t shamelessly plug remind you that you can always find filing and other tax info in the ol’ blog’s daily posts and especially its Daily Tax Tips.
Time for a filing extension: Finally, don’t panic.
Yes, as the countdown clock there in the right column shows, tax filing time is ticking away.
But if you just can’t get the tax job done by Tuesday, you can file for an extension. Just remember to pay any tax you owe with that extension request.
Form 4868 only gives you more time (until Oct. 16 this year) to file your forms, not pay your tax bill.
Good luck and good filing, no maybe about it!