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Publication 721

How To Get Tax Help(p27)

Whether it's help with a tax issue, preparing your tax return or a need for a free publication or form, get the help you need the way you want it: online, use a smart phone, call or walk in to an IRS office or volunteer site near you.

Free help with your tax return.(p27)

You can get free help preparing your return nationwide from IRS-certified volunteers. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps low-to-moderate income, elderly, people with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing and all volunteers will let you know about credits and deductions you may be entitled to claim. In addition, some VITA and TCE sites provide taxpayers the opportunity to prepare their own return with help from an IRS-certified volunteer. To find the nearest VITA or TCE site, you can use the VITA Locator Tool on, download the IRS2Go app, or call 1-800-906-9887.
As part of the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program. To find the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, visit AARP's website at or call 1-888-227-7669. For more information on these programs, go to and enter "VITA" in the search box.


rule and IRS2Go are ready when you are —24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Phone. You can call the IRS, or you can carry it in your pocket with the IRS2Go app on your smart phone or tablet. Download the free IRS2Go app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play.


Walk-in. You can find a selection of forms, publications and services — in-person.


Mail. You can send your order for forms, instructions, and publications to the address below. You should receive a response within 10 business days after your request is received.

Internal Revenue Service
1201 N. Mitsubishi Motorway
Bloomington, IL 61705-6613

The Taxpayer Advocate Service Is Here to Help You. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is your voice at the IRS. Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly and that you know and understand your rights.

What can TAS do for you? We can offer you free help with IRS problems that you can't resolve on your own. We know this process can be confusing, but the worst thing you can do is nothing at all! TAS can help if you can't resolve your tax problem and:

If you qualify for our help, you'll be assigned to one advocate who'll be with you at every turn and will do everything possible to resolve your problem. Here's why we can help:

How can you reach us? If you think TAS can help you, call your local advocate, whose number is in your local directory and at Taxpayer Advocate, or call us toll-free at 1-877-777-4778.

How else does TAS help taxpayers?

TAS also works to resolve large-scale, systemic problems that affect many taxpayers. If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us through our Systemic Advocacy Management System.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics(p29)

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) serve individuals whose income is below a certain level and need to resolve tax problems such as audits, appeals and tax collection disputes. Some clinics can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Visit Taxpayer Advocate or see IRS Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.

Worksheet A. Simplified Method

See the instructions in Part II of this publication under Simplified Method.

1.Enter the total pension or annuity payments received this year. Also, add this amount to the total for Form 1040, line 16a; Form 1040A, line 12a; or Form 1040NR, line 17a 1.
2.Enter your cost in the plan at the annuity starting date, plus any death benefit exclusion*. See Your cost in Part II, Rules for Retirees, earlier 2.
Note: If your annuity starting date was before this year and you completed this worksheet last year, skip line 3 and enter the amount from line 4 of last year's worksheet on line 4 below (even if the amount of your pension or annuity has changed). Otherwise, go to line 3. 
3.Enter the appropriate number from Table 1 below. But if your annuity starting date was after 1997 and the payments are for your life and that of your beneficiary, enter the appropriate number from Table 2 below. 3.
4.Divide line 2 by the number on line 34.
5.Multiply line 4 by the number of months for which this year's payments were made. If your annuity starting date was before 1987, enter this amount on line 8 below and skip lines 6, 7, 10, and 11. Otherwise, go to line 6 5.
6.Enter any amounts previously recovered tax free in years after 1986. This is the amount shown on line 10 of your worksheet for last year 6.
7.Subtract line 6 from line 27.
8.Enter the smaller of line 5 or line 7 8.
9.Taxable amount for year. Subtract line 8 from line 1. Enter the result, but not less than zero. Also, add this amount to the total for Form 1040, line 16b, or Form 1040A, line 12b. If you are a nonresident alien, enter this amount on line 1 of Worksheet C. If your Form CSA 1099R or Form CSF 1099R shows a larger amount, use the amount figured on this line instead. If you are a retired public safety officer, see Distributions Used To Pay Insurance Premiums for Public Safety Officers in Part II before entering an amount on your tax return or Worksheet C, line 1 9.
10.Was your annuity starting date before 1987?
box Yes. stop Do not complete the rest of this worksheet.

box No. Add lines 6 and 8. This is the amount you have recovered tax free through 2013. You will need this number if you need to fill out this worksheet next year
11.Balance of cost to be recovered. Subtract line 10 from line 2. If zero, you will not have to complete this worksheet next year. The payments you receive next year will generally be fully taxable 11.
Table 1 for Line 3 Above
 IF your age on your annuity
starting date was
 AND your annuity starting date was—
  before November 19, 1996,
THEN enter on line 3
after November 18, 1996,
THEN enter on line 3
 55 or under300360
 71 or over120160

Table 2 for Line 3 Above
 IF the annuitants' combined ages on your annuity starting date were THEN enter on line 3    
 110 or under 410   
 111–120 360   
 121–130 310   
 131–140 260   
 141 or over 210   
* A death benefit exclusion of up to $5,000 applied to certain benefits received by survivors of employees who died before August 21, 1996.


Worksheet B. Lump-Sum Payment
See the instructions in Part II of this publication under Alternative Annuity Option.

Enter your lump-sum credit (your cost in the plan at the annuity starting date)1.
2.Enter the present value of your annuity contract2.
3.Divide line 1 by line 23.
4.Tax-free amount. Multiply line 1 by line 3. (Caution: Do not include this amount on line 6 of Worksheet A in this publication.) 4.
5.Taxable amount (net cost in the plan). Subtract line 4 from line 1. Include this amount in the total on Form 1040, line 16b; Form 1040A, line 12b; or Form 1040NR, line 17b. Also, enter this amount on line 2 of Worksheet A in this publication. 5.