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Instructions for Form 1040-EZ

Section 6—How To Get Tax Help(p29)

If you have questions about a tax issue, need help preparing your tax return, or want to download free publications, forms or instructions, go to and find resources that can help you right away.
computeGetting answers to your tax law questions.(p29)
On get answers to your tax questions anytime, anywhere.
  • Go to or pages for a variety of tools that will help you get answers to some of the most common tax questions.
  • Go to for the Interactive Tax Assistant, a tool that will ask you questions on a number of tax law topics and provide answers. You can print the entire interview and final response for your records.
  • Go to to get Pub. 17, Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals, which features details on tax-saving opportunities, tax changes, and thousands of interactive links to help you find answers to your questions. View it online in HTML or as a PDF or, better yet, download it to your mobile device to enjoy eBook features.
  • You may also be able to access tax law information in your electronic filing software.
Preparing and filing your tax return.(p29)
Find free options to prepare and file your return on or in your local community if you qualify.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and limited-English-speaking taxpayers who need help preparing their own tax returns. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older. TCE volunteers specialize in answering questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.
You can go to and click on the Filing tab to see your options for preparing and filing your return which include the following.
Getting tax forms and publications.(p29)
Go to to view, download, or print all of the forms and publications you may need. You can also download and view popular tax publications and instructions on mobile devices as an eBook at no charge. Or, you can go to to place an order and have forms mailed to you within 10 business days.
Where to file your tax return.(p29)
Getting a transcript or copy of a return.(p29)
The quickest way to get a copy of your transcript is to go to Click on either Get Transcript Online or Get Transcript by Mail to order a copy of your transcript. If you prefer, you can also:
Using online tools to help prepare your return.(p29)
Go to for the following.
Resolving tax-related identity theft issues(p30)
Checking on the status of a refund.(p30)
Making a tax payment.(p30)
The IRS uses the latest encryption technology so electronic payments are safe and secure. You can make electronic payments online, by phone, or from a mobile device. Paying electronically is quick, easy, and faster than mailing in a check or money order. Go to to make a payment using any of the following options.
What if I can’t pay now?(p30)
Go to for more information about your options.
Checking the status of an amended return.(p30)
Go to and click on Where’s My Amended Return? ( under the "Tools" bar to track the status of Form 1040X amended returns. Please note that it can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed your amended return for it show up in our system and processing it can take up to 16 weeks.
Understanding an IRS notice or letter.(p30)
Go to ( to find additional information about responding to an IRS notice or letter.
Contacting your local IRS office.(p30)
Keep in mind, many questions can be resolved on without visiting an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC). Go to for the topics people ask about most. If you still need help, IRS TACs provide tax help when a tax issue cannot be handled online or by phone. All TACs now provide service by appointment, so you'll know in advance that you can get the service you need without waiting. Before you visit, go to to find the nearest TAC and check hours, available services, and appointment options. Or, on the IRS2Go app, under the Stay Connected tab, choose the Contact Us options and click on Local Offices.
Watching IRS videos.(p30)
The IRS Video portal ( contains video and audio presentations on topics of interest to individuals, small businesses, and tax professionals.
Getting tax Information in other languages.(p30)
Taxpayers can find information on in the following languages.
The IRS TACs provide over-the-phone interpreter service in over 170 languages, and the service is available free to taxpayers.

Refund Information(p30)

Information about your return will generally be available within 24 hours after the IRS receives your e-filed return, or 4 weeks after you mail a paper return. But if you filed Form 8379 with your return, allow 14 weeks (11 weeks if you filed electronically) before checking your refund status. To check the status of your refund, go to Where's My Refund? at or use the free IRS2Go app, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Delayed refunds for returns claiming certain credits.(p30)
Due to changes in the law, the IRS can’t issue refunds before February 15, 2017, for returns that claim the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. This delay applies to the entire refund, not just the portion associated with these credits. Because of the time it generally takes banking or financial systems to process deposits, if you claimed either or both of these credits, it is unlikely that your refund will arrive in your bank account or on a debit card before the week of February 27 (assuming your return has no processing issues and you elect direct deposit). Because many financial institutions do not process payments on weekends or holidays, the three-day holiday weekend that includes President’s Day may also affect when you receive your refund.
If you filed your return before February 15 and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit, you can start to check Where's My Refund? ‎ and the IRS2Go phone mobile app a few days after February 15 for the status of your refund.
To use Where's My Refund? have a copy of your tax return handy. You will need to enter the following information from your return:
  • Your social security number (or individual taxpayer identification number),
  • Your filing status, and
  • The exact whole dollar amount of your refund.
Where's My Refund? will provide an actual personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund.
Where's My Refund? doesn't track refunds that are claimed on an amended tax return.
Updates to refund status are made no more than once a day—usually at night.
If you do not have Internet access, call 1-800-829-1954 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for automated refund information.
Our phone and walk-in assistors can research the status of your refund only if it's been 21 days or more since you filed electronically or more than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return.
Do not send in a copy of your return unless asked to do so.
To get a refund, you generally must file your return within 3 years from the date the return was due (including extensions).
Refund information also is available in Spanish at and the phone number listed above.