The COVID-19 crisis has limited many of the Internal Revenue Service resources taxpayers use for preparing and filing their taxes. The following post by Optima Tax Relief reviews the available online tools for completing tax returns.
With the 2020 tax deadline approaching, it’s important to highlight the services available to taxpayers that can help them prepare their returns accurately. Because the COVID-19 outbreak has caused the IRS to scale back some of their in-person features, taxpayers may find that the online tools will be more efficient resources for answering questions or addressing common tax return issues.
The IRS website – IRS.gov – has gotten more traffic in the past 12 months than it has at any year since the site’s inception. The website has been visited approximately one billion times, an increase of 141 percent from the previous year.
The features on the IRS.gov site are accessible 24 hours per day, intuitive, and user-friendly. They help taxpayers at all income levels understand, prepare, and file their tax returns, and also offer resources that help pay any taxes owed, either at once or in installments.
Here are some of the IRS.gov features you can use to help you with your taxes.
Free File tools connect some qualifying taxpayers to free tax preparation software packages. The brand-name software tools find exemptions, credits, and deductions automatically. The free tools are available to all taxpayers who earned $69,000 or less in the 2019 tax year. Certain Free File programs also include software for filing state taxes for free.
There are also online forms for all taxpayers who prefer to prepare their own taxes. These electronic forms are free to all taxpayers at any income.
Payment Plan/Installment Agreement
Taxpayers who have a tax debt that they cannot afford to pay in a single lump sum can request a payment plan, or the option to enroll in an Installment Agreement. A payment plan is a commitment to pay all taxes owed within a particular timeframe under 120 days. An Installment Agreement is a long-term repayment option that gives the taxpayer more than 120 days to pay their tax debt. Many taxpayers opt to enroll in a short- or long-term payment program, though interest and fees continue to accrue for however long the debt is outstanding.
To learn more about how the coronavirus outbreak has affected IRS services, please visit the IRS coronavirus page.
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