Several years ago I was contacted by an individual to file returns for the past two tax years. I inquired why the returns had not been filed and was advised that the tax package IRS mailed to him each year had not been received. The taxpayer concluded that if the IRS expected him to file a return, they should have sent him the paperwork packet. Don’t be that guy!
The IRS announced on Sept. 27 they will no longer mail these packets to individuals or businesses. The packets contained forms, schedules and instructions for filing a paper return. The IRS will mail a postcard to individuals who filed paper returns last year that did not use a tax preparer or tax software. They will be advised how to obtain forms and instructions required for filing their 2010 returns. The forms and instructions will be available in early January 2011.
Taxpayers should also consider these free options:
Forms and publications are available online, at local IRS offices or at participating libraries and post offices.
Individuals making $49,000 or less can use the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Individuals aged 60 and older can take advantage of free tax counseling and basic tax preparation through Tax-Aide (Tax Counseling ForThe Elderly).
IRS Free File provides options for free brand-name tax software plus free electronic filing.
The IRS noted only 8 percent of taxpayers who filed returns last year received tax packages in the mail. The rest either used a paid preparer or software or e-filed their tax returns.
Tax Wisdom: We have created a tax monster. I don’t know anybody who defends our current tax system – anybody. We have used taxes inappropriately to achieve political, ideological and social goals.
– David Cay Johnson