IRS announces 1995 free assistance programs

tax assistance The Seattle District of the Internal Revenue Service has several free services available during the 1996 filing season.

Tax Help On-Line
   Tax help is now available on-line from the Internal Revenue Information System (IRIS) at FedWorld, the electronic marketplace of U.S. government information. The following tax information is available to anyone with a personal computer and a modem:

   Taxpayers can access FedWorld on the Internet through IRS's home page on the World Wide Web (http://www.irs.ustreas.gov), Telnet (fedworld.gov), or FTP (ftp.fedworld.gov); or by direct dial (703-321-8020).

Walk-in Assistance
   Walk-in assistance will be available in IRS offices in Seattle. IRS employees will not prepare your return for you, but they will answer questions and help you prepare your own return at these locations. Walk-in hours are Monday through Friday, from 9:00am to 5:00pm, at the Jackson Federal Building, Second Avenue entrance.

Tax Forms
   Tax forms and publications are available Monday through Friday during normal business hours by calling IRS at 1- 800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). As in the past, banks and post offices may have some limited types of forms as well. Some libraries carry limited forms and publications that can be copied, but check on availability in your community library system.
   The 1995 Federal Tax Forms CD-ROM contains more than 600 tax forms and instructions, and some 3,000 pages of topic-oriented tax information. Users can electronically search, view- on-screen, or print-out any of the items contained on the CD.
   Available through the Government Printing Office's Superintendent of Documents, the three-issue subscription is $46.

Volunteer Assistance Programs
   The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) provides tax assistance to low-income, non-English speaking, disabled, or other taxpayers with special needs. This program will be operated in most areas of Washington.
   The Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program (TCE), co-sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons, will provide free tax assistance, particularly to those over 60 years of age.
   Watch for announcements in your community for further information on sites and hours of these two programs. After January 29, call 1-800-829-1040 to be updated.

Tele-Tax: Recorded Tax Information
   Tele-Tax has 148 topics available 24 hours a day using a touch-tone phone. Taxpayers can call (toll-free) 1-800-829-4477 or 343-7221 in Seattle to hear recorded information on tax subjects such as earned income credit, child care/elderly credit, dependents, or other topics such as electronic filing, which form to use, or what to do if you can't pay your taxes. Nearly seven million taxpayers used Tele-Tax last filing season for recorded tax information.

   The Outreach Program provides assistance through Tax Information Seminars in which IRS employees give presentations on specific tax provisions affecting a particular group, address general groups on new tax law provisions, or address high school classes concerning their tax responsibilites. For further information, call 442-1040 or toll free 1-800-829-1040.

IRS Telephone Assisters
   Telephone tax assisters are expected to answer nearly 20 million calls this filing season. Taxpayers can call (toll-free) 1-800-829-1040 for tax assistance. Taxpayers who receive notices from the IRS about their tax accounts should call the toll-free number listed on those notices.

Automated Refund Information
   Last year, the IRS Automated Refund Information system received nationally over 54 million calls to check on the issuance of tax refunds. Taxpayers may call 1-800-829-4477, or 343-7221 in Seattle, from 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. weekdays, to check on the status of their refunds.