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Where to turn for tax help

Where should you turn if you have a tax question?

Posted: Feb 19, 2018 10:36 AM
Updated: Feb 19, 2018 12:24 PM

(AP)- Tax returns surge over Presidents Day weekend, with the IRS saying it receives more phone calls on the day after Presidents Day than on any other day of the year. That can mean long waits for filers trying to get through on the phone.

So where should you turn if you have a question?

ONLINE

Getting someone on the phone might be a challenge, but the IRS.gov website has answers to most tax questions. The site can also direct you to outside tax help, such as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. The program provides free tax help to people with incomes under $54,000, those with disabilities and those who require in-person assistance because of language issues. There's also the Tax Counseling for the Elderly program, which provides free help to all taxpayers, specializing in those 60 years or older.

Taxpayers whose income is $66,000 or less can use IRS Free File, also accessible on the main site, to access free tax-preparation software.

SOFTWARE

Filing online is the most accurate, safest and easiest way to file, according to the IRS.

There are numerous free and paid tax software programs that will walk you through common tax scenarios. Some brands, such as TurboTax, offer add-on perks for help.

TurboTax Live, for example, allows you to ask for immediate help from an expert online and you can even get your tax return reviewed, signed and filed by an experience certified public accountant or enrolled agent.

PROFESSIONAL

If you decided you want to call in a pro, make sure you choose wisely.

While the majority of tax professionals provide honest, quality service, the IRS warns of dishonest preparers who set up shop to commit refund fraud, identity fraud and other scams. There are a number of tips on the IRS website on how to choose a tax return preparer wisely. But one easy place to start is to make sure they have an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number, known as a PTIN, which is required by law. In general avoid preparers who boast about getting you the biggest return, aren't available for questions or want to be paid based on a percentage of your return.

Remember that no matter who prepares a federal tax return, by signing it the taxpayer becomes legally responsible for is accuracy.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 309223

Reported Deaths: 7153
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21005250
Hinds19989411
Harrison17590303
Rankin13388277
Jackson13169243
Madison9965212
Lee9900170
Jones8319161
Forrest7554149
Lauderdale7232237
Lowndes6306144
Lamar614685
Lafayette6081118
Washington5296133
Bolivar4778130
Oktibbeha458097
Panola4461103
Pearl River4447142
Warren4310119
Marshall4302103
Pontotoc417672
Monroe4063132
Union405175
Neshoba4009176
Lincoln3892109
Hancock373785
Leflore3471124
Sunflower332090
Tate325984
Pike3226105
Scott311973
Yazoo305369
Alcorn301566
Itawamba297977
Copiah294365
Coahoma290779
Simpson290486
Tippah285368
Prentiss276659
Marion266479
Leake262473
Wayne261541
Grenada257385
Covington255380
Adams247082
Newton246161
George238947
Winston226181
Tishomingo222867
Jasper220248
Attala213673
Chickasaw205857
Holmes187272
Clay183354
Stone179733
Clarke178177
Tallahatchie176240
Calhoun165632
Yalobusha160236
Smith159734
Walthall131143
Greene129633
Lawrence126823
Noxubee126634
Montgomery125842
Perry125238
Amite121041
Carroll121026
Webster113932
Jefferson Davis105932
Tunica103425
Claiborne101430
Benton97525
Kemper95728
Humphreys94732
Franklin83123
Quitman78916
Choctaw74417
Wilkinson65329
Jefferson64928
Sharkey49817
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 522512

Reported Deaths: 10790
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson755371494
Mobile39129799
Madison34124500
Tuscaloosa25408444
Montgomery24059573
Shelby23225242
Baldwin20730302
Lee15638166
Calhoun14358311
Morgan14171273
Etowah13705348
Marshall12012220
Houston10416279
Elmore10024203
Limestone9862148
Cullman9509191
St. Clair9486236
Lauderdale9280233
DeKalb8762183
Talladega8127173
Walker7151276
Autauga6763106
Jackson6762110
Blount6532133
Colbert6236132
Coffee5436113
Dale4781111
Russell431239
Franklin421382
Chilton4130110
Covington4069115
Tallapoosa3922148
Escambia390374
Dallas3528150
Chambers3519122
Clarke347360
Marion3076100
Pike306676
Lawrence296395
Winston273272
Bibb256761
Marengo248561
Geneva246475
Pickens233259
Barbour227155
Hale218675
Butler213268
Fayette209660
Henry188444
Cherokee182744
Randolph177841
Monroe173140
Washington165538
Macon156548
Clay150255
Crenshaw149557
Cleburne147041
Lamar140034
Lowndes137353
Wilcox124727
Bullock122040
Conecuh109728
Perry107726
Sumter103332
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
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