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Automated Resources for Taxpayer Assistance
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced that a number of services that required the direct contact of an IRS representative will transition at the beginning of 2014 to more automated resources. The services being affected include tax return preparation, transcript delivery, tax law assistance, refund inquiries, EIN applications, and practitioner priority services.
Tax Return Preparation
: Beginning in 2014, the IRS will no longer provide any tax return preparation services at its 250 walk-in offices. Instead, it will direct taxpayers to the more than 13,000 volunteer tax preparation sites available online. The IRS also encourages qualified taxpayers to use the Free File program available on the IRS's website.
: Early in 2014, the IRS will unveil its Get Transcript program on its website, which will allow taxpayers to view and print copies of their tax transcripts as well as to have them mailed to the address of record. The tool will be available for five types of transcripts which include tax account, tax return, record of account, wage and income, and verification of non-filing.
Tax Law Assistance
: Beginning with the 2014 filing season, taxpayers with complex questions regarding tax law issues will no longer be handled by the IRS directly, rather taxpayers will be directed to other resources on the IRS website. Basic tax law questions can be addressed with an IRS representative directly but only during the normal filing season (January to mid-April).
: For the first 21 days after electronically filing a tax return, all tax refund inquiries will be directed to the "Where's My Refund?" tracking tool on the IRS website, mobile phone app, or automated telephone service. Taxpayers that paper file will be directed there as well until after 6 weeks of mailing their return. After the time period has elapsed, an IRS representative will be able to research the status of a refund.
: Beginning in early 2014, all domestic EIN requests will be referred to the EIN Assistant on the IRS website. IRS representatives will only answer questions about a previously assigned EIN.
Practitioner Priority Services
: Starting in 2014, the Practitioner Priority Service will only be limited to only tax professionals and requests related to resolving client-related issues. Taxpayers will no longer be able to use this service themselves to resolve their own issues.
For more information or questions on this topic, please contact your UHY LLP professional.