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IRS Special Edition Tax Tip 2014-07: IRS Offers Options to Avoid the President’s Day Rush

The President’s Day Holiday is one of the busiest times for IRS phone lines. But you can avoid the wait. The IRS has easy options to find the answers you need. To save time, taxpayers should make IRS.gov their first stop. Here are some of the most common taxpayer questions and quick ways to get the answers 24/7.

  1. What is the status of my refund? The IRS will issue most refunds in less than 21 days. You can easily check the status of your refund by using Where’s My Refund? on IRS.gov or the newly updated smartphone app, IRS2Go. You’ll need certain information from your tax return to get the status of your refund. We update the Information once a day, so there’s no need to check more often than that.
  2. What if I didn’t get a Form W-2?  Employers are required to send to their employees a Form W-2, Statement of Earnings, by January 31. If you don’t get a form W-2 by mid-February, you should first contact your employer to make sure they have your correct address on file. After exhausting all options with your employer, you may contact the IRS and we will send a letter to the employer. However, we ask that you call after Presidents Day week to avoid long telephone wait times.
  3. Can I get a copy of my tax return or transcript? You can easily order a copy of a return or transcript on the IRS.gov website, on our IRS2Go smartphone app or by mailing us a completed Form 4506-T.
  4. What if I can’t pay my tax bill?  If you owe taxes but can’t pay, use the Online Payment Agreement tool. It can help you determine in a matter of minutes whether you qualify for an installment agreement with the IRS. There is also an Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier for those whose tax obligations are more serious. This tool helps determine if you qualify for an agreement with the IRS to settle your tax liability for less than the full amount owed.
  5. Where can I get help preparing my taxes? Try the IRS Free File program. You get to choose brand name software to e-file your taxes for free. Also, there are free tax preparation sites available nationwide from IRS-certified volunteers . Find a location nearby by searching “Free Tax Help” on IRS.gov. Certain income limitations apply.
  6. What if I have tax law questions? If you are wondering whether to file a tax return or who to claim as a dependent, start by typing a simple keyword search on IRS.gov. You can also usePublication 17, the annual, searchable income tax guide. Or try the IRS Tax Map, where you can search by topic or keyword to get tax information. Taxpayers can even call TeleTax at 1-800-829-4477 for a recording of information on a variety of general and business tax topics.

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IRS Summertime Tax Tip 2013-03: Job Search Expenses May Lower Your Taxes

IRS Summertime Tax Tip 2013-03, July 8, 2013

Summer is often a time when people make major life decisions. Common events include buying a home, getting married or changing jobs. If you’re looking for a new job in your same line of work, you may be able to claim a tax deduction for some of your job hunting expenses.

Here are seven things the IRS wants you to know about deducting these costs:

  1. Your expenses must be for a job search in your current occupation. You may not deduct expenses related to a search for a job in a new occupation. If your employer or another party reimburses you for an expense, you may not deduct it.
  2. You can deduct employment and job placement agency fees you pay while looking for a job.
  3. You can deduct the cost of preparing and mailing copies of your résumé to prospective employers.
  4. If you travel to look for a new job, you may be able to deduct your travel expenses. However, you can only deduct them if the trip is primarily to look for a new job.
  5. You can’t deduct job search expenses if there was a substantial break between the end of your last job and the time you began looking for a new one.
  6. You can’t deduct job search expenses if you’re looking for a job for the first time.
  7. You usually will claim job search expenses as a miscellaneous itemized deduction. You can deduct only the amount of your total miscellaneous deductions that exceed two percent of your adjusted gross income.

For more information, see Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions. This booklet is available on IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 2013-07-03
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