Tax issues can come up any time of the year for taxpayers. Maybe they have to file an amended tax return, or maybe they got a notice from the IRS. Taxpayers who decide they need to visit an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center for in-person help with their tax issues should do a couple things first.
According to an IRS press release, first things first, taxpayers will need to call 844-545-5640 to schedule an appointment. Don’t just show up at your local office without a scheduled appointment. All TACs provide service by appointment. The Contact Your Local Office tool on IRS.gov helps taxpayers find the closest IRS TAC, the days and hours of operation, and a list of services the TAC provides.
Once they make an appointment, taxpayers will receive an automated email to the address they provide. The email will confirm the day and time of their appointment. Taxpayers should consider the self-service options on IRS.gov before calling for an appointment. Taxpayers can resolve many questions online without taxpayers having to travel to a Tax Assistance Center, the IRS release said.
Taxpayers checking on a tax refund status can:
- Use the “Where’s My Refund?” online tool.
- Call 800-829-1954 anytime to access the audio version of this tool.
Taxpayers who need answers to tax questions can:
- Use the Interactive Tax Assistant, which asks the taxpayer a series of questions and provides answers based on their input.
- Check out Publication 17, which covers a broad range of topics and updates on tax law changes.
- Visit the IRS Tax Map to find tax information on a variety of tax topics.
- Visit IRS.gov for info about what to do when a letter from the IRS arrives.
- View Publication 5136, IRS Services Guide (PDF) for additional ways taxpayers and tax professionals can get help.
Taxpayers who need to make a payment can:
- Use IRS Direct Pay on IRS.gov. This is a free, secure electronic method to pay from a checking or savings account.
- Visit the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System for online and phone options.
- Pay when using tax software when e-filing. Taxpayers can pay online, by phone, or with a mobile device using the IRS2Go app.
- View their balance online or refer to the information in the notice they received to determine the amount owed. They can also access their tax account to view recent payment history.
- Make a cash payment in-person at more than 7,000 retail stores nationwide.
- Mail a personal, cashier’s check or money order made payable to “U.S. Treasury” along with a completed Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher. Taxpayers should never send cash.
Educators can claim deduction to get money back for classroom expenses
Educators may be able to deduct unreimbursed expenses on their tax return. This deduction can put money right back in the pockets of eligible teachers and other educators, according to the IRS.
Here are some things to know about this deduction:
- Educators can deduct up to $250 of trade or business expenses that were not reimbursed. As teachers prepare for the next school year, they should remember to keep receipts after making any purchase to support claiming this deduction.
- The deduction is $500 if both taxpayers are eligible educators and file their return using the status married filing jointly. These taxpayers cannot deduct more than $250 each.
- Qualified expenses are amounts the taxpayer paid themselves during the tax year.
- Examples of expenses the educator can deduct include:
- Professional development course fees
- Computer equipment, including related software and services
- Other equipment and materials used in the classroom
- Taxpayers claim the deduction on Form 1040 (PDF) or Form 1040-NR (PDF). The taxpayer should remember to complete and attach Form 1040, Schedule 1 (PDF) to their return.
- To be considered an eligible educator, the taxpayer must be a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide. They must also work at least 900 hours a school year in a school that provides elementary or secondary education as determined under state law.
- Topic Number 458 – Educator Expense Deduction
- Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals
- Form 1040-NR instructions (PDF)