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Issue Number: IR-2020-277
Get Ready for Taxes: Stay home and stay safe with IRS online tools
WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today encouraged taxpayers to take necessary actions now to help file federal tax returns timely and accurately in 2021.
This is the fourth in a series of reminders to help taxpayers get ready for the upcoming tax filing season. A special page, updated and available on IRS.gov, outlines steps taxpayers can take to make tax filing easier in 2021.
With continued social distancing, taxpayers can stay home and stay safe with IRS online tools and resources that help them find the information they need. These IRS.gov tools are easy to use and available 24 hours a day. Millions of people use them to find information about their accounts, get answers to tax questions or file and pay taxes.
Taxpayers comfortable filling out tax forms electronically, can use Free File Fillable Forms, regardless of income, to file their tax returns either by mail or online.
Choosing a preparer
Other online help
Beginning in January 2021, the Interactive Tax Assistant will be updated to include answers to more tax law questions.
Taxpayers can check the status of their refund using the "Where's My Refund?" tool. The status is available within 24 hours after the IRS receives their e-filed tax return or up to four weeks after they mailed a paper return. The “Where’s My Refund?” tool updates once every 24 hours, usually overnight, so taxpayers only need to check once a day.
The best and fastest way for taxpayers to get their tax refund is to have it direct deposited into their financial account. Taxpayers who don’t have a financial account can visit the FDIC website for information to help open an account online.
Click on the website tab for the type of tax return you want to self-prepare. Most free tax preparation programs can be accessed from the IRS or AARP websites. You may also click on electronic forms on the website to complete and save to your desk top and e-filing. The state and local websites contain electronic forms for saving to your desk top and e-filing as well.A program or automated form will likely be available.
Don't hesitate to hire a paid professional to prepare or review your tax returns if you need help. It is important to not be penny wise and pound foolish.e
Licensed tax preparers include Enrolled Agents (EA) federally licensed by the US Department of the Treasury, Certified Public Accountants (CPA) licensed by state departments of accountancy, and Attorneys (Esq.) licensed by states. Every preparer is required to have a PTIN number whether they are licensed or not.