Treasury Notes

 Kicking Off the 2012 Tax Filing Season

By: Erika Gudmundson

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) opened the 2012 tax filing season yesterday. Due to a District of Columbia holiday, taxpayers have until April 17, 2012 to file their tax returns. The IRS will begin accepting e-file and Free File (free brand-name tax software or online fillable forms plus free electronic filing for those making $57,000 or less) returns in just a few weeks, on January 17, 2012. Filing a tax return online is the best way to ensure accurate tax returns and get faster refunds.

This year, taxpayers have a number of tools to take advantage of to make their filing process easier:

  • New navigation features and helpful information on The best way for taxpayers to get answers to their questions is by visiting The IRS has updated its homepage to make it easier for taxpayers to get key forms, information and file tax returns. The front page also has links to helpful videos on the IRS YouTube channel.
  • For individuals making $50,000 or less, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program for free tax preparation and, in many cases, free electronic filing. Individuals age 60 and older can take advantage of free tax counseling and basic income tax preparation through Tax Counseling for the Elderly.
  • A new pilot program that allows taxpayers to use interactive video to get help with tax issues. Taxpayers who have not previously been able to get face-to-face service can get assistance through two-way video conferencing.  The IRS is conducting a limited roll-out of this new video conferencing technology at 10 IRS offices and two other sites, and may expand to further sites in the future. A list of locations is available here.
  • And IRS2Go, the free smartphone application, that lets taxpayers check on the status of their tax refund and obtain helpful tax information.

Of course, taxpayers can also call a toll-free number (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time) or visit a taxpayer assistance center.

So don’t forget – Tuesday, April 17, 2012 is the filing deadline.

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