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Friday, February 14, 2014

IRS is never helpful

Just a reminder, these headings are Financial Myths unless otherwise noted.  IRS can actually be very helpful, if you know where to look.  And it should get better, thanks to TAP, the new Taxpayer Advocacy Panel made up of 73 volunteers around the country.  I applied for this panel but they ended up selecting no one from Oregon, probably because of me;  my three suggestions for improving IRS customer service were:

  1. Leave
  2. Me
  3. Alone
No doubt they assumed everyone here is nuts and passed us over entirely.  Here's the link to the announcement, if you're interested in sending comments to TAP:

Another recent sort of friendly gesture is Publication 910, "IRS Guide to Free Tax Services".  To save you the effort of looking at all 27 pages, here are the sweet spots, in my opinion:
  • pp. 1-3-  Yes, their website is easy to navigate and full of robustness.
  • p. 6 - tax advice for seniors.  Free.
  • p. 9 -FreeFile, the online tax return preparation and filing system which, they claim, 40 million taxpayers have used thus far.
  • This is cool.  At you can search for the hundreds of potential benefits programs that might apply to you.
  • p.12 -Guide to free tax services
  • p.18 -Nonprofit and Small Business resources.  I've used this extensively in my Treasurer roles at nonprofits.
So yes, Matilda, even the IRS can be warm and fuzzy.

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