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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'mjust as guilty as anyone. It's easy to ridicule a hugeorganization of government bureaucrats who often seemto be Public Enemy #1.
Our negative attitude toward the IRS can lead to astrong desire to just ignore it altogether. Butself-employed people who ignore the IRS do so at theirown peril.
So when it comes to providing free information abouttaxes, let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.The IRS does provide some excellent resources to helpus 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
There's a wealth of information just for small businessowners and self-employed people at:http://www.irs.gov/smallbiz
Here you'll find everything from how to obtain a federalbusiness tax ID to a free 6-session streaming videopresentation of the "IRS Small Business Workshop."Also known as the Small Business Self-Employed OnlineClassroom, 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 inperson, 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 formimaginable, available as downloadable PDF files orin fill-in format. All form instructions can also bedownloaded.
The IRS has many free publications that explain virtuallyevery major (and many minor) tax topics in great detail.Sure, IRS "pubs" are not always written in the mostentertaining 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: 800-829-1040Use common sense when phoning the IRS: to avoid longwait times, don't call on Monday morning. And no matterwhen you call, be prepared! Write out your questionsbeforehand and have all relevant documentation in frontof you, as well as a favorite book or magazine to readduring the inevitable wait time. Stay calm; don't yell;treat the IRS employee like a human being and he/shewill 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 faxby calling 703-368-9694 from your fax machine.
4. CD-ROM for Small Business.
This is known as "The Small Business Resource GuideCD-ROM", aka Publication 3207. It includes all thetax forms and publications needed to run a smallbusiness. Call 800-829-3676 to request a free copy.
5. Walk-In Offices.
Need some face-to-face tax help? For a completelist of IRS offices in all 50 states, includinghours of operation and contact info, check out:http://www.irs.gov/localcontacts
Wayne M. Davies is author of 3 tax-slashing eBooks forthe self-employed, available separately or as a 3-volumeset, "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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