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Publication 542

How To Get Tax Help

You can get help with unresolved tax issues, order free publications and forms, ask tax questions, and get 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.

Contacting your Taxpayer Advocate.

If you have attempted to deal with an IRS problem unsuccessfully, you should contact your Taxpayer Advocate.
The Taxpayer Advocate independently 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, How To Get Help With Unresolved Tax Problems (now available in Chinese, Korean, Russian, and Vietnamese in addition to English and Spanish).

Free tax services.

To find out what services are available, get Publication 910, IRS 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.
Internet. You can access the IRS website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at to:
  • E-file. Find out about commercial tax preparation and e-file services available for free to eligible taxpayers.
  • Check the status of your refund. Click on Where's My Refund. Be sure to wait at least 6 weeks from the date you filed your return (3 weeks if you filed electronically). Have your tax return available because you will need to know your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund.
  • Download forms, instructions, and publications.
  • Order IRS products online.
  • Research your tax questions online.
  • Search publications online by topic or keyword.
  • View Internal Revenue Bulletins (IRBs) published in the last few years.
  • Figure your withholding allowances using our Form W-4 calculator.
  • Sign up to receive local and national tax news by email.
  • Get information on starting and operating a small business.
Phone. Many services are available by phone.  
  • Ordering forms, instructions, and publications. Call 1-800-829-3676 to order current-year forms, instructions, and publications and prior-year forms and instructions. You should receive your order within 10 days.
  • Asking tax questions. Call the IRS with your tax questions at 1-800-829-1040.
  • Solving problems. You can get face-to-face help solving tax problems every business day in IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers. An employee can explain IRS letters, request adjustments to your account, or help you set up a payment plan. Call your local Taxpayer Assistance Center for an appointment. To find the number, go to or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service.
  • 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.
  • Refund information. If you would like to check the status of your refund, call 1-800-829-4477 and press 1 for automated refund information or call 1-800-829-1954. Be sure to wait at least 6 weeks from the date you filed your return (3 weeks if you filed electronically) and have your tax return available because you will need to know your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund.
Evaluating the quality of our telephone services. To ensure that IRS representatives give accurate, courteous, and professional answers, we use several methods to evaluate the quality of our telephone services. One method is for a second IRS representative to sometimes listen in on or record telephone calls. Another is to ask some callers to complete a short survey at the end of the call.
Walk In
Walk-in. Many products and services are available on a walk-in basis.  
  • Products. You can walk in to many post offices, libraries, and IRS offices to pick up certain forms, instructions, and publications. Some IRS offices, libraries, grocery stores, copy centers, city and county government offices, credit unions, and office supply stores have a collection of products available to print from a CD-ROM or photocopy from reproducible proofs. Also, some IRS offices and libraries have the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, Internal Revenue Bulletins, and Cumulative Bulletins available for research purposes.
  • Services. You can walk in to your local Taxpayer Assistance Center every business day for face-to-face tax help. An employee can explain IRS letters, request adjustments to your account, or help you set up a payment plan. If you need to resolve a tax problem, have questions about how the tax law applies to your individual tax return, or you're more comfortable talking with someone in person, visit your local Taxpayer Assistance Center where you can spread out your records and talk with an IRS representative face-to-face. No appointment is necessary, but if you prefer, you can call your local Center and leave a message requesting an appointment to resolve a tax account issue. A representative will call you back within 2 business days to schedule an in-person appointment at your convenience. To find the number, go to or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service.
Due date
Mail. You can send your order for forms, instructions, and publications to the address below and receive a response within 10 business days after your request is received.

National Distribution Center  
P.O. Box 8903  
Bloomington, IL 61702–8903

CD-ROM for tax products. You can order IRS Publication 1796, IRS Tax Products on CD-ROM, and obtain:
  • A CD that is released twice so you have the latest products. The first release ships in late December and the final release ships in late February.
  • Current-year forms, instructions, and publications.
  • Prior-year forms, instructions, and publications.
  • Tax Map: an electronic research tool and finding aid.
  • Tax law frequently asked questions (FAQs).
  • Tax Topics from the IRS telephone response system.
  • Fill-in, print and save features for most tax forms.
  • Internal Revenue Bulletins.
  • Toll-free and email technical support.
Buy the CD-ROM from National Technical Information Service (NTIS) on the Internet at for $25 (no handling fee) or call 1-877-233-6767 toll free to buy the CD-ROM for $25 (plus a $5 handling fee).
CD-ROM for small businesses. IRS Publication 3207, The Small Business Resource Guide CD-ROM, has a new look and enhanced navigation features. The CD includes:
  • Helpful information, such as how to prepare a business plan, find financing for your business, and much more.
  • All the business tax forms, instructions, and publications needed to successfully manage a business.
  • Tax law changes for the current year.
  • IRS Tax Map to help you find forms, instructions, and publications by searching on a keyword topic.
  • Web links to various government agencies, business associations, and IRS organizations.
  • "Rate the Product" survey — your opportunity to suggest changes for future editions.
An updated version of this CD is available each year in early April. You can get a free copy by calling 1-800-829-3676 or by visiting the website at

Other Useful Forms for Corporations

Other Useful Forms
FormUse this form to—
W-2 and W-3—Wage and Tax Statement; and Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements Report wages, tips, and other compensation, and withheld income, social security, and Medicare taxes for employees.
W-2G—Certain Gambling Winnings Report gambling winnings from horse racing, dog racing, jai alai, lotteries, keno, bingo, slot machines, sweepstakes, wagering pools, etc.
926—Return by a U.S. Transferor of Property to a Foreign Corporation Report certain transfers to foreign corporations under section 6038B.
940 or 940-EZ—Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return Report and pay FUTA tax if the corporation either:
  1. Paid wages of $1,500 or more in any calendar quarter during the calendar year (or the preceding calendar year), or
  2. Had one or more employees working for the corporation for at least some part of a day in any 20 different weeks during the calendar year (or the preceding calendar year).
952—Consent To Extend the Time To Assess Tax Under Section 332(b) Extend the period of assessment of all income taxes of the receiving corporation on the complete liquidation of a subsidiary under section 332.
966—Corporate Dissolution or Liquidation Report the adoption of a resolution or plan to dissolve the corporation or liquidate any of its stock.
1042 and 1042-S—Annual Withholding Tax Return for U.S. Source Income of Foreign Persons; and Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding Report withheld tax on payments or distributions made to nonresident alien individuals, foreign partnerships, or foreign corporations to the extent these payments or distributions constitute gross income from sources within the United States that is not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. See Pub. 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities.
1042-T—Annual Summary and Transmittal of Forms 1042-S Transmit paper Forms 1042-S to the IRS.
1096—Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns Transmit paper Forms 1099, 1098, 5498, and W-2G to the IRS.
1099-A, B, C, CAP, DIV, INT, LTC, MISC, OID, PATR, R, S and, SA

Important: Every corporation must file Forms 1099-MISC if, in the course of its trade or business, it makes payments of rents, commissions, or other fixed or determinable income (see section 6041) totaling $600 or more to any one person during the calendar year.

Also use these returns to report amounts received as a nominee for another person. For more details, see the General Instructions for Forms 1099, 1098, 5498, and W-2G.
Report the following:
  • Acquisitions or abandonments of secured property;
  • Proceeds from broker and barter exchange transactions;
  • Cancellation of debts;
  • Changes in corporate control and capital structure;
  • Dividends and distributions;
  • Interest payments;
  • Payments of long-term care and accelerated death benefits;
  • Miscellaneous income payments to certain fishing boat crew members, to providers of health and medical services, of rent or royalties, of nonemployee compensation, etc.;
  • Original issue discount;
  • Taxable distributions received from cooperatives;
  • Distributions from pensions, annuities, retirement or profit-sharing plans, IRAs, insurance contracts, etc.;
  • Proceeds from real estate transactions; and
  • Distributions from an HSA, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA.
1122—Authorization and Consent of Subsidiary Corporation To Be Included in a Consolidated Income Tax Return For the first year a subsidiary corporation is being included in a consolidated return, attach this form to the parent's consolidated return. Attach a separate Form 1122 for each subsidiary being included in the consolidated return.
1138—Extension of Time for Payment of Taxes by a Corporation Expecting a Net Loss Carryback For a corporation expecting a net operating loss for the current year use Form 1138 to request an extension of time for payment of tax for the immediately preceding tax year.
3520—Annual Return To Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts Report a distribution received from a foreign trust; or, if the corporation was the grantor of, transferor of, or transferor to, a foreign trust that existed during the tax year. See Question 5 of Schedule N (Form 1120).
3520-A—Annual Information Return of Foreign Trust With a U.S. Owner Report information about the foreign trust, its U.S. beneficiaries, and any U.S. person who is treated as an owner of any portion of the foreign trust.
4562—Depreciation and Amortization Use Form 4562 to claim a deduction for depreciation or amortization, to make the section 179 election to expense certain property, and to provide information on the business/investment use of cars and other listed property.
5471—Information Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations A corporation may have to file Form 5471 if it:
  • Controls a foreign corporation; or
  • Acquires, disposes of, or owns 10% or more in value or vote of the outstanding stock of a foreign corporation; or
  • Owns stock in a corporation that is a controlled foreign corporation for an uninterrupted period of 30 days or more during any tax year of the foreign corporation, and it owned that stock on the last day of that year. See Question 4 of Schedule N (Form 1120).
5498—IRA Contribution Information Report contributions (including rollover contributions) to any IRA, including a SEP, SIMPLE, or Roth IRA, and to report Roth IRA conversions, IRA recharacterizations, and the fair market value (FMV) of the account.
5498-ESA—Coverdell ESA Contribution Information Report contributions (including rollover contributions) to and the FMV of a Coverdell education savings account (ESA).
5498-SA—HSA, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA Information Report contributions to an HSA or Archer MSA and the FMV of an HSA, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA. For more information, see the general and specific instructions for Forms 1099, 1098, 5498, and W-2G.
5713—International Boycott Report Report operations in, or related to, a "boycotting" country, company, or national of a country and to figure the loss of certain tax benefits.
8023—Elections Under Section 338 for Corporations Making Qualified Stock Purchases Make elections under section 338 for a "target" corporation if the purchasing corporation has made a qualified stock purchase of the target corporation.
8027—Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips Report receipts from large food or beverage operations, tips reported by employees, and allocated tips.
8264—Application for Registration of a Tax Shelter Until further guidance is issued, material advisors who provide material aid, assistance, or advice with respect to any reportable transaction after October 22, 2004, must use Form 8264 to disclose reportable transactions in accordance with interim guidance provided in Notice 2004-80, 2004-50 I.R.B. 963; Notice 2005-17, 2005-8 I.R.B. 606; and Notice 2005-22, 2005-12 I.R.B. 756.
8271—Investor Reporting of Tax Shelter Registration Number Report the registration number for a tax shelter that is required to be registered. Attach Form 8271 to any tax return (including Forms 1139 and 1120X) on which a deduction, credit, loss, or other tax benefit attributable to a tax shelter is taken or any income attributable to a tax shelter is reported.
8275—Disclosure Statement Disclose items or positions, except those contrary to a regulation, that are not otherwise adequately disclosed on a tax return. The disclosure is made to avoid the parts of the accuracy-related penalty imposed for disregard of rules or substantial understatement of tax. Also use Form 8275 for disclosures relating to preparer penalties for understatements due to unrealistic positions or disregard of rules.
8275-R—Regulation Disclosure Statement Disclose any item on a tax return for which a position has been taken that is contrary to Treasury regulations.
8281—Information Return for Publicly Offered Original Issue Discount Instruments Report the issuance of public offerings of debt instruments (obligations).
8300—Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business Report the receipt of more than $10,000 in cash or foreign currency in one transaction or a series of related transactions.
8594—Asset Acquisition Statement Under Section 1060 Report a sale of assets that make up a trade or business if goodwill or going concern value attaches, or could attach, to such assets and if the buyer's basis is determined only by the amount paid for the assets. Both the seller and buyer must use this form.
8806—Information Return for Acquisition of Control or Substantial Change in Capital Structure Report an acquisition of control or a substantial change in the capital structure of a domestic corporation.
8817—Allocation of Patronage and Nonpatronage Income and Deductions Figure and report patronage and nonpatronage income and deductions (used by taxable cooperatives).
8842—Election To Use Different Annualization Periods for Corporate Estimated Tax Elect one of the annualization periods in section 6655(e)(2) for figuring estimated tax payments under the annualized income installment method.
8849—Claim for Refund of Excise Taxes Claim a refund of certain excise taxes.
8858—Information Return of U.S. Persons With Respect To Foreign Disregarded Entities This form is required if the corporation directly or indirectly owns a foreign disregarded entity. See Question 1 of Schedule N (Form 1120).
8865—Return of U.S. Person With Respect To Certain Foreign Partnerships Report an interest in a foreign partnership. A domestic corporation may have to file Form 8865 if it:
  1. Controlled a foreign partnership (owned more than a 50% direct or indirect interest in the partnership).
  2. Owned at least a 10% direct or indirect interest in a foreign partnership while U.S. persons controlled that partnership.
  3. Had an acquisition, disposition, or change in proportional interest of a foreign partnership that:
            a. Increased its direct interest to at least 10% or reduced its direct interest of at least 10% to less than 10% or
            b. Changed its direct interest by at least a 10% interest.
  4. Contributed property to a foreign partnership in exchange for a partnership interest if:
            a. Immediately after the contribution, the corporation directly or indirectly owned at least a 10% interest in the foreign partnership or
            b. The FMV of the property the corporation contributed to the foreign partnership in exchange for a partnership interest exceeds $100,000 when added to other contributions of property made to the foreign partnership during the preceding 12-month period.

The domestic corporation may also have to file Form 8865 to report certain dispositions by a foreign partnership of property it previously contributed to that partnership if it was a partner at the time of the disposition. For more details, including penalties for failing to file Form 8865, see Form 8865 and its separate instructions.
8873—Extraterritorial Income Exclusion To figure the amount of extraterritorial income excluded from gross income for the tax year.
8876—Excise Tax on Structured Settlement Factoring Transactions Report and pay the 40% excise tax imposed under section 5891.
8883—Asset Allocation Statement Under Section 338 Report information about transactions involving the deemed sale of corporate assets under section 338.
8886—Reportable Transaction Disclosure Statement Disclose information for each reportable transaction in which the corporation participated. Attach Form 8886 to the corporation's income tax return for each tax year in which it participated in a reportable transaction. The corporation may have to pay a penalty if it is required to file Form 8886 and does not do so. Other penalties may also apply. For more details, see the Instructions for Form 8886.
8903 — Domestic Production Activities Deduction To calculate and report the domestic production activities deduction.