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How To Get Tax Help


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You can get help with unresolved tax issues, order free publications and forms, ask tax questions, and get more information from the IRS in several ways. By selecting the method that is best for you, you will have quick and easy access to tax help.
taxmap/pubs/p551-003.htm#TXMP20160d7e

Contacting your Taxpayer Advocate.


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If you have attempted to deal with an IRS problem unsuccessfully, you should contact your Taxpayer Advocate.
The Taxpayer Advocate represents your interests and concerns within the IRS by protecting your rights and resolving problems that have not been fixed through normal channels. While Taxpayer Advocates cannot change the tax law or make a technical tax decision, they can clear up problems that resulted from previous contacts and ensure that your case is given a complete and impartial review.
To contact your Taxpayer Advocate:
For more information, see Publication 1546, The Taxpayer Advocate Service of the IRS.
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Free tax services.


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To find out what services are available, get Publication 910, Guide to Free Tax Services. It contains a list of free tax publications and an index of tax topics. It also describes other free tax information services, including tax education and assistance programs and a list of TeleTax topics.
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Personal computer. With your personal computer and modem, you can access the IRS on the Internet at www.irs.gov. While visiting our web site, you can:
  • Find answers to questions you may have.
  • Download forms and publications or search for forms and publications by topic or keyword.
  • View forms that may be filled in electronically, print the completed form, and then save the form for recordkeeping.
  • View Internal Revenue Bulletins published in the last few years.
  • Search regulations and the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Receive our electronic newsletters on hot tax issues and news.
  • Get information on starting and operating a small business.
You can also reach us with your computer using File Transfer Protocol at ftp.irs.gov.
Fax
TaxFax Service. Using the phone attached to your fax machine, you can receive forms and instructions by calling 703–368–9694. Follow the directions from the prompts. When you order forms, enter the catalog number for the form you need. The items you request will be faxed to you.
For help with transmission problems, call the FedWorld Help Desk at 703–487–4608.
Phone
Phone. Many services are available by phone.  
  • Ordering forms, instructions, and publications. Call 1–800–829–3676 to order current and prior year forms, instructions, and publications.
  • Asking tax questions. Call the IRS with your tax questions at 1–800–829–1040.
  • TTY/TDD equipment. If you have access to TTY/TDD equipment, call 1–800–829– 4059 to ask tax questions or to order forms and publications.
  • TeleTax topics. Call 1–800–829–4477 to listen to pre-recorded messages covering various tax topics.
taxmap/pubs/p551-003.htm#TXMP149d7261

Evaluating the quality of our telephone services.


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To ensure that IRS representatives give accurate, courteous, and professional answers, we evaluate the quality of our telephone services in several ways.
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CD-ROM. You can order IRS Publication 1796, Federal Tax Products on CD-ROM, and obtain:
  • Current tax forms, instructions, and publications.
  • Prior-year tax forms and instructions.
  • Popular tax forms that may be filled in electronically, printed out for submission, and saved for recordkeeping.
  • Internal Revenue Bulletins.
The CD-ROM can be purchased from National Technical Information Service (NTIS) by calling 1–877–233–6767 or on the Internet at www.irs.gov. The first release is available in mid-December and the final release is available in late January.
IRS Publication 3207, Small Business Resource Guide, is an interactive CD-ROM that contains information important to small businesses. It is available in mid-February. You can get a free copy by calling 1–800–829–3676 or visiting the IRS web site at www.irs.gov.

Glossary


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Amortization:

A ratable deduction for the cost of certain intangible property over the period specified by law. Examples of costs that can be amortized are goodwill, agreement not to compete, and research and mining exploration costs.

Business assets:

Property used in the conduct of a trade or business, such as business machinery and office furniture.

Capitalization:

Adding costs, such as improvements, to the basis of assets.

Depletion:

Yearly deduction allowed to recover your investment in minerals in place or standing timber. To take the deduction, you must have the right to income from the extraction and sale of the minerals or the cutting of the timber.

Depreciation:

Ratable deduction allowed over a number of years to recover your basis in property that is used more than one year for business or income producing purposes.

Fair market value (FMV):

FMV is the price at which property would change hands between a buyer and a seller, neither having to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of all necessary facts.

Going concern value:

Going concern value is the additional value that attaches to property because the property is an integral part of an ongoing business activity. It includes value based on the ability of a business to continue to function and generate income even though there is a change in ownership.

Goodwill:

Goodwill is the value of a trade or business based on expected continued customer patronage due to its name, reputation, or any other factor.

Intangible property:

Property that cannot be perceived by the senses such as goodwill, patents, copyrights, etc.

Like-kind property:

Items of property with the same nature or character. The grade or quality of the properties does not matter. Examples are two vacant plots of land.

Personal property:

Property, such as machinery, equipment, or furniture, that is not real property.

Real property:

Land and generally anything erected on, growing on, or attached to land, for example, a building.

Recapture:

Amount of depreciation or section 179 deduction that must be reported as ordinary income when property is sold at a gain.

Section 179 deduction:

This is a special deduction allowed against the cost of certain property purchased for use in the active conduct of a trade or business.

Section 197 intangibles:

Certain intangibles held in connection with the conduct of a trade or business or an activity entered into for profit, including goodwill, going concern value, patents, copyrights, formulas, franchises, trademarks, and trade names.

Tangible property:

This is property that can be seen or touched, such as furniture and buildings.

Unstated interest:

The part of the sales price treated as interest when an installment contract provides for little or no interest.
previous pagePrevious Page: Publication 551 - Basis of Assets - Basis Other Than Cost
next pageNext Page: Publication 552 - Recordkeeping for Individuals - Recordkeeping for Individuals
 Use previous pagenext page to find additional occurrences of topic items.Index for this Publication