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H&r block 6. H&r block   How To Get Tax Help Table of Contents Low Income Taxpayer Clinics Whether it's help with a tax issue, preparing your tax return or a need for a free publication or form, get the help you need the way you want it: online, use a smart phone, call or walk in to an IRS office or volunteer site near you. H&r block Free help with your tax return. H&r block   You can get free help preparing your return nationwide from IRS-certified volunteers. H&r block The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps low-to-moderate income, elderly, people with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers. H&r block The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. H&r block Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing and all volunteers will let you know about credits and deductions you may be entitled to claim. H&r block In addition, some VITA and TCE sites provide taxpayers the opportunity to prepare their own return with help from an IRS-certified volunteer. H&r block To find the nearest VITA or TCE site, you can use the VITA Locator Tool on IRS. H&r block gov, download the IRS2Go app, or call 1-800-906-9887. H&r block   As part of the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program. H&r block To find the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, visit AARP's website at www. H&r block aarp. H&r block org/money/taxaide or call 1-888-227-7669. H&r block For more information on these programs, go to IRS. H&r block gov and enter “VITA” in the search box. H&r block Internet. H&r block    IRS. H&r block gov and IRS2Go are ready when you are —24 hours a day, 7 days a week. H&r block Download the free IRS2Go app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play. H&r block Use it to check your refund status, order transcripts of your tax returns or tax account, watch the IRS YouTube channel, get IRS news as soon as it's released to the public, subscribe to filing season updates or daily tax tips, and follow the IRS Twitter news feed, @IRSnews, to get the latest federal tax news, including information about tax law changes and important IRS programs. H&r block Check the status of your 2013 refund with the Where's My Refund? application on IRS. H&r block gov or download the IRS2Go app and select the Refund Status option. H&r block The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. H&r block Using these applications, you can start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after we receive your e-filed return or 4 weeks after you mail a paper return. H&r block You will also be given a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. H&r block The IRS updates Where's My Refund? every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you only need to check once a day. H&r block Use the Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) to research your tax questions. H&r block No need to wait on the phone or stand in line. H&r block The ITA is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and provides you with a variety of tax information related to general filing topics, deductions, credits, and income. H&r block When you reach the response screen, you can print the entire interview and the final response for your records. H&r block New subject areas are added on a regular basis. H&r block  Answers not provided through ITA may be found in Tax Trails, one of the Tax Topics on IRS. H&r block gov which contain general individual and business tax information or by searching the IRS Tax Map, which includes an international subject index. H&r block You can use the IRS Tax Map, to search publications and instructions by topic or keyword. H&r block The IRS Tax Map integrates forms and publications into one research tool and provides single-point access to tax law information by subject. H&r block When the user searches the IRS Tax Map, they will be provided with links to related content in existing IRS publications, forms and instructions, questions and answers, and Tax Topics. H&r block Coming this filing season, you can immediately view and print for free all 5 types of individual federal tax transcripts (tax returns, tax account, record of account, wage and income statement, and certification of non-filing) using Get Transcript. H&r block You can also ask the IRS to mail a return or an account transcript to you. H&r block Only the mail option is available by choosing the Tax Records option on the IRS2Go app by selecting Mail Transcript on IRS. H&r block gov or by calling 1-800-908-9946. H&r block Tax return and tax account transcripts are generally available for the current year and the past three years. H&r block Determine if you are eligible for the EITC and estimate the amount of the credit with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Assistant. H&r block Visit Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter to get answers to questions about a notice or letter you received from the IRS. H&r block If you received the First Time Homebuyer Credit, you can use the First Time Homebuyer Credit Account Look-up tool for information on your repayments and account balance. H&r block Check the status of your amended return using Where's My Amended Return? Go to IRS. H&r block gov and enter Where's My Amended Return? in the search box. H&r block You can generally expect your amended return to be processed up to 12 weeks from the date we receive it. H&r block It can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed it to show up in our system. H&r block Make a payment using one of several safe and convenient electronic payment options available on IRS. H&r block gov. H&r block Select the Payment tab on the front page of IRS. H&r block gov for more information. H&r block Determine if you are eligible and apply for an online payment agreement, if you owe more tax than you can pay today. H&r block Figure your income tax withholding with the IRS Withholding Calculator on IRS. H&r block gov. H&r block Use it if you've had too much or too little withheld, your personal situation has changed, you're starting a new job or you just want to see if you're having the right amount withheld. H&r block Determine if you might be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax by using the Alternative Minimum Tax Assistant on IRS. H&r block gov. H&r block Request an Electronic Filing PIN by going to IRS. H&r block gov and entering Electronic Filing PIN in the search box. H&r block Download forms, instructions and publications, including accessible versions for people with disabilities. H&r block Locate the nearest Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) using the Office Locator tool on IRS. H&r block gov, or choose the Contact Us option on the IRS2Go app and search Local Offices. H&r block An employee can answer questions about your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. H&r block Before you visit, check the Office Locator on IRS. H&r block gov, or Local Offices under Contact Us on IRS2Go to confirm the address, phone number, days and hours of operation, and the services provided. H&r block If you have a special need, such as a disability, you can request an appointment. H&r block Call the local number listed in the Office Locator, or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service. H&r block Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). H&r block Go to IRS. H&r block gov and enter Apply for an EIN in the search box. H&r block Read the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, or other official guidance. H&r block Read Internal Revenue Bulletins. H&r block Sign up to receive local and national tax news and more by email. H&r block Just click on “subscriptions” above the search box on IRS. H&r block gov and choose from a variety of options. H&r block Phone. H&r block    You can call the IRS, or you can carry it in your pocket with the IRS2Go app on your smart phone or tablet. H&r block Download the free IRS2Go app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play. H&r block Call to locate the nearest volunteer help site, 1-800-906-9887 or you can use the VITA Locator Tool on IRS. H&r block gov, or download the IRS2Go app. H&r block Low-to-moderate income, elderly, people with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers can get free help with their tax return from the nationwide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. H&r block The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. H&r block Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing. H&r block Some VITA and TCE sites provide IRS-certified volunteers who can help prepare your tax return. H&r block Through the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program; call 1-888-227-7669 to find the nearest Tax-Aide location. H&r block Call the automated Where's My Refund? information hotline to check the status of your 2013 refund 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-829-1954. H&r block If you e-file, you can start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after the IRS receives your tax return or 4 weeks after you've mailed a paper return. H&r block The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. H&r block Where's My Refund? will give you a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. H&r block Before you call this automated hotline, have your 2013 tax return handy so you can enter your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. H&r block The IRS updates Where's My Refund? every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you only need to check once a day. H&r block Note, the above information is for our automated hotline. H&r block Our live phone and walk-in assistors can research the status of your refund only if it's been 21 days or more since you filed electronically or more than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return. H&r block Call the Amended Return Hotline, 1-866-464-2050, to check the status of your amended return. H&r block You can generally expect your amended return to be processed up to 12 weeks from the date we receive it. H&r block It can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed it to show up in our system. H&r block Call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676) to order current-year forms, instructions, publications, and prior-year forms and instructions (limited to 5 years). H&r block You should receive your order within 10 business days. H&r block Call TeleTax, 1-800-829-4477, to listen to pre-recorded messages covering general and business tax information. H&r block If, between January and April 15, you still have questions about the Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ (like filing requirements, dependents, credits, Schedule D, pensions and IRAs or self-employment taxes), call 1-800-829-1040. H&r block Call using TTY/TDD equipment, 1-800-829-4059 to ask tax questions or order forms and publications. H&r block The TTY/TDD telephone number is for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability. H&r block These individuals can also contact the IRS through relay services such as the Federal Relay Service. H&r block Walk-in. H&r block   You can find a selection of forms, publications and services — in-person. H&r block Products. H&r block You can walk in to some post offices, libraries, and IRS offices to pick up certain forms, instructions, and publications. H&r block Some IRS offices, libraries, and city and county government offices have a collection of products available to photocopy from reproducible proofs. H&r block Services. H&r block You can walk in to your local TAC for face-to-face tax help. H&r block An employee can answer questions about your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. H&r block Before visiting, use the Office Locator tool on IRS. H&r block gov, or choose the Contact Us option on the IRS2Go app and search Local Offices for days and hours of operation, and services provided. H&r block Mail. H&r block   You can send your order for forms, instructions, and publications to the address below. H&r block You should receive a response within 10 business days after your request is received. H&r block Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. H&r block Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613    The Taxpayer Advocate Service Is Here to Help You. H&r block The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is your voice at the IRS. H&r block Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly and that you know and understand your rights. H&r block   What can TAS do for you? We can offer you free help with IRS problems that you can't resolve on your own. H&r block We know this process can be confusing, but the worst thing you can do is nothing at all! TAS can help if you can't resolve your tax problem and: Your problem is causing financial difficulties for you, your family, or your business. H&r block You face (or your business is facing) an immediate threat of adverse action. H&r block You've tried repeatedly to contact the IRS but no one has responded, or the IRS hasn't responded by the date promised. H&r block   If you qualify for our help, you'll be assigned to one advocate who'll be with you at every turn and will do everything possible to resolve your problem. H&r block Here's why we can help: TAS is an independent organization within the IRS. H&r block Our advocates know how to work with the IRS. H&r block Our services are free and tailored to meet your needs. H&r block We have offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. H&r block   How can you reach us? If you think TAS can help you, call your local advocate, whose number is in your local directory and at Taxpayer Advocate, or call us toll-free at 1-877-777-4778. H&r block   How else does TAS help taxpayers?  TAS also works to resolve large-scale, systemic problems that affect many taxpayers. H&r block If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us through our Systemic Advocacy Management System. H&r block Low Income Taxpayer Clinics Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) serve individuals whose income is below a certain level and need to resolve tax problems such as audits, appeals and tax collection disputes. H&r block Some clinics can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. H&r block Visit Taxpayer Advocate or see IRS Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List. H&r block Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT)

Mission and Composition

The Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) is governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463. The ACT is an organized public forum for discussion of relevant employee plans, exempt organizations, tax-exempt bonds, and federal, state, local and Indian tribal government issues. The ACT also enables the IRS to receive regular input on the development and implementation of IRS policy concerning these communities. ACT members present interested public's observations about current or proposed IRS policies, programs and procedures as well as suggest improvements through a yearly final report.

ACT members are appointed by the Department of the Treasury upon recommendation of the Commissioner of the IRS, and serve for two-year terms. Terms can be extended for an additional year with approval from the IRS Commissioner of Tax Exempt and Government Entities. The IRS seeks a diverse group of members representing a broad spectrum of persons experienced in employee plans, exempt organizations, tax-exempt bonds, and federal, state, local and Indian tribal governments. ACT members meet in Washington, DC approximately five times a year, each session lasting two days. Members are not paid for their time or services. Members are reimbursed for their travel-related expenses to attend working sessions and public meetings, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 5703. View the 2013 ACT Renewal Charter.

Nomination Process

The IRS requests nominations for membership on the ACT in the fall of each year.  Subscribe to IRS Newswire to receive announcements.  Interested parties may nominate themselves or another qualified person for membership. Nominations should describe and document the proposed member's qualifications for ACT membership, including the nominee's past or current affiliations and dealings with the particular community or segment of the community that he or she wishes to represent (such as employee plans). Nominations should also specify the vacancy for which they wish to be considered.

Clearance Process

Selected nominees must go through a clearance process before appointment by the Department of the Treasury. In accordance with the Department of the Treasury Directive 21-03, the clearance process includes, among other things, pre-appointment and annual tax checks, and an FBI criminal and subversive name check, fingerprint check, and security clearance.

Read past ACT reports.

For additional information, please contact:

Internal Revenue Service
ATTN: Mark Kirbabas
Acting Designated Federal Officer for the ACT
TEGE/SE:T:CL
NCA-676
1111 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20224-0002

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 16-Sep-2013

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H&r block 3. H&r block   Gifts Table of Contents If you give gifts in the course of your trade or business, you can deduct all or part of the cost. H&r block This chapter explains the limits and rules for deducting the costs of gifts. H&r block $25 limit. H&r block   You can deduct no more than $25 for business gifts you give directly or indirectly to each person during your tax year. H&r block A gift to a company that is intended for the eventual personal use or benefit of a particular person or a limited class of people will be considered an indirect gift to that particular person or to the individuals within that class of people who receive the gift. H&r block   If you give a gift to a member of a customer's family, the gift is generally considered to be an indirect gift to the customer. H&r block This rule does not apply if you have a bona fide, independent business connection with that family member and the gift is not intended for the customer's eventual use. H&r block   If you and your spouse both give gifts, both of you are treated as one taxpayer. H&r block It does not matter whether you have separate businesses, are separately employed, or whether each of you has an independent connection with the recipient. H&r block If a partnership gives gifts, the partnership and the partners are treated as one taxpayer. H&r block Example. H&r block Bob Jones sells products to Local Company. H&r block He and his wife, Jan, gave Local Company three gourmet gift baskets to thank them for their business. H&r block They paid $80 for each gift basket, or $240 total. H&r block Three of Local Company's executives took the gift baskets home for their families' use. H&r block Bob and Jan have no independent business relationship with any of the executives' other family members. H&r block They can deduct a total of $75 ($25 limit × 3) for the gift baskets. H&r block Incidental costs. H&r block   Incidental costs, such as engraving on jewelry, or packaging, insuring, and mailing, are generally not included in determining the cost of a gift for purposes of the $25 limit. H&r block   A cost is incidental only if it does not add substantial value to the gift. H&r block For example, the cost of gift wrapping is an incidental cost. H&r block However, the purchase of an ornamental basket for packaging fruit is not an incidental cost if the value of the basket is substantial compared to the value of the fruit. H&r block Exceptions. H&r block   The following items are not considered gifts for purposes of the $25 limit. H&r block An item that costs $4 or less and: Has your name clearly and permanently imprinted on the gift, and Is one of a number of identical items you widely distribute. H&r block Examples include pens, desk sets, and plastic bags and cases. H&r block Signs, display racks, or other promotional material to be used on the business premises of the recipient. H&r block    Figure B. H&r block When Are Transportation Expenses Deductible? Most employees and self-employed persons can use this chart. H&r block (Do not use this chart if your home is your principal place of business. H&r block See Office in the home . H&r block ) Please click here for the text description of the image. H&r block Figure B. H&r block When Are Local Transportation Expenses Deductible?TAs for Figure B are: Reg 1. H&r block 162-1(a); RR 55–109; RR 94–47 Gift or entertainment. H&r block   Any item that might be considered either a gift or entertainment generally will be considered entertainment. H&r block However, if you give a customer packaged food or beverages you intend the customer to use at a later date, treat it as a gift. H&r block    If you give a customer tickets to a theater performance or sporting event and you do not go with the customer to the performance or event, you have a choice. H&r block You can treat the cost of the tickets as either a gift expense or an entertainment expense, whichever is to your advantage. H&r block   You can change your treatment of the tickets at a later date by filing an amended return. H&r block Generally, an amended return must be filed within 3 years from the date the original return was filed or within 2 years from the time the tax was paid, whichever is later. H&r block    If you go with the customer to the event, you must treat the cost of the tickets as an entertainment expense. H&r block You cannot choose, in this case, to treat the cost of the tickets as a gift expense. H&r block Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications