Tax Trap #5 -- Ignoring The IRS (and the 5 best ways to contact them!)

We all love to criticize the IRS, don't we? And I'm just as guilty as anyone. It's easy to ridicule a huge organization of government bureaucrats who often seem to be Public Enemy #1.

Our negative attitude toward the IRS can lead to a strong desire to just ignore it altogether. But self-employed people who ignore the IRS do so at their own peril.

So when it comes to providing free information about taxes, let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. The IRS does provide some excellent resources to help us make the best of a potentially bad situation.

If you need tax assistance and prefer not to pay for it, do not overlook these five ways to obtain help from the IRS:

1. The Internet

http://www.irs.gov

There's a wealth of information just for small business owners and self-employed people at: http://www.irs.gov/smallbiz

Here you'll find everything from how to obtain a federal business tax ID to a free 6-session streaming video presentation of the "IRS Small Business Workshop." Also known as the Small Business Self-Employed Online Classroom, you can access this directly at: www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=97726,00.html

If you prefer to attend an IRS small business workshop in person, check here to see what's available in your state: www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=99202,00.html

Need tax forms and/or their instructions? Look no further than the IRS website: http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/index.html

Here you'll find a boatload of links to every tax form imaginable, available as downloadable PDF files or in fill-in format. All form instructions can also be downloaded.

http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/lists/0,,id=97817,00.html

The IRS has many free publications that explain virtually every major (and many minor) tax topics in great detail. Sure, IRS "pubs" are not always written in the most entertaining style, but, hey, remember the price. http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/lists/0,,id=97819,00.html

2. Telephone Hotlines.

Special toll-free numbers exist for the following:

-- To order forms & pubs: 800-829-3676 (in case you'd like to receive a paper copy via snail-mail)

-- To ask business tax questions: 800-829-4933

-- To ask personal tax questions: 800-829-1040 Use common sense when phoning the IRS: to avoid long wait times, don't call on Monday morning. And no matter when you call, be prepared! Write out your questions beforehand and have all relevant documentation in front of you, as well as a favorite book or magazine to read during the inevitable wait time. Stay calm; don't yell; treat the IRS employee like a human being and he/she will likely return the favor.

-- Need help with long-standing problems: 877-777-4778

-- Prerecorded messages on 140 topics: 800-829-4477

3. TaxFax Service.

You can receive most IRS forms instructions via fax by calling 703-368-9694 from your fax machine.

4. CD-ROM for Small Business.

This is known as "The Small Business Resource Guide CD-ROM", aka Publication 3207. It includes all the tax forms and publications needed to run a small business. Call 800-829-3676 to request a free copy.

5. Walk-In Offices.

Need some face-to-face tax help? For a complete list of IRS offices in all 50 states, including hours of operation and contact info, check out: http://www.irs.gov/localcontacts

Wayne M. Davies is author of 3 tax-slashing eBooks for the self-employed, available separately or as a 3-volume set, "The Ultimate Small Business Tax Reduction Guide". http://www.YouSaveOnTaxes.com/ultimate-guide

To get your free copy of Wayne's 25-page report, "How To Instantly Double Your Deductions" visit: http://www.YouSaveOnTaxes.com

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Sukanya Samriddhi , PPF, NSC and other post office savings schemes that offer income tax benefits  LivemintNew Delhi: Many post office savings schemes offer income tax benefits to investors. Post office offers nine savings schemes and some of them qualify for income ...
Overstock Will Pay Some of Its 2019 Taxes in Bitcoin  CoinDeskDigital retail giant Overstock.com plans to pay at least some of its taxes using bitcoin this year. The company announced on its investor portal Thursday that it ...
The Trump Tax Cut: Even Worse Than You’ve Heard  The New York TimesThe 2017 tax cut has received pretty bad press, and rightly so. Its proponents made big promises about soaring investment and wages, and also assured ...
5 proposed tax changes that every South African should watch out for: expert  BusinessTechPersonal income tax, which is mostly collected from employees, is by far the largest contributor to tax in South Africa says Jerry Botha, managing partner of…
Bitwage Service Adds Payroll Tax Payment Funding Options for U.S. Businesses  Bitcoin MagazineCryptocurrency payroll *service* Bitwage has partnered with Texas-based payroll and Human Relations firm Simply Efficient HR to help companies fund W2 ...
Labor's tax hike costings seem opportunistic  The Sydney Morning HeraldCapital gains tax will be a major topic as we race to the next federal election. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was on the attack last week, pointing out that if Labor's ...
RANKING: Residential Property Tax Bills Spiked Highest In These North Jersey Towns  Daily VoiceResidential property tax bills spiked across New Jersey -- again.A new report by NJ 101.5 found that the median residential tax increase among 565 ...
ITR: 10 things salaried people should follow  India TodayThere are many ways in which salaried individuals can make mistakes in their ITR - something that occurs mostly due to negligence or lack of time.
Best ELSS or tax saving mutual funds to invest in 2019  Economic TimesMany mutual fund investors are hunting for the best Equity Linked Saving Scheme or ELSSs to save taxes under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.

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