Recently the IRS announced that tax packages would no longer be mailed to taxpayers. This was called a cost-cutting move due to so many taxpayers taking advantage of electronic filing (e-filing). Unfortunately, several million taxpayers still mail their tax returns. Of these, it is hard to determine how many returns were self-prepared and used the tax forms mailed by the IRS.
So, what are these taxpayers to do? If you are reading this, I’m guessing you are on the internet so you can browse on over to www.irs.gov and download the forms from their site assuming you know what forms you need! There are telephone numbers you can call and ask what forms you need, but the IRS bears no responsibility for giving you bad advice about what forms you need. In addition, talking to the IRS you may get different answers to your questions depending upon who you ask. So if you go this route, I’d recommend you have a copy of your prior year’s return and ask for or download the same forms (and instructions!).
Another option is to go to your nearest friendly IRS office. Be advised a number of the IRS offices are located in governmental centers and you have to go through security just to get tax forms so leave all your metal at home. You will also find the same situation asking questions to IRS representatives in person as you would on the phone. I’m not sure how good an option this is as several IRS offices I have visited in the Chicago area are difficult to find your way around and do not have a large enough reception area to have all IRS forms.
Some local libraries will have IRS forms and a few banks may as well. Over the last several years, I’ve seen the number of libraries & banks with tax forms dwindle so unless you know for certain your bank or library hs the forms, I would not go here.
- Ask someone to get the forms for you online – these can be downloaded and printed fairly easily but remember to get the instructions as well!
- Tax preparation software will print the forms for you as well as help you with the number crunching. Once completed, you can print, sign, collate & send off. Most software will cost you although you may be able to find some free ones on the internet.
- A Tax Pro can print the forms as well but during the busy tax season it will be difficult to find one who will have the time to print a bunch of forms or handle multiple requests without being charged.
Ultimately the IRS is trying to go as paper-less as possible and you can expect more regulations forcing e-filing. Sorry for you who are leery of e-filing, you may have to get used to it.