WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service is offering taxpayers a number of instructional YouTube videos to help prepare their taxes for the upcoming filing season, which begins on Jan. 31.
Several options are available to help taxpayers prepare for the 2014 tax season and get their refunds as easily as possible. Many software companies are expected to begin accepting tax returns in January and hold those returns until the IRS systems open on Jan. 31. This includes the Free File partners that offer access to their software for free at irs.gov/Free File. The IRS will not process any tax returns before Jan. 31, so there is no advantage to filing on paper before the opening date. Taxpayers will receive their tax refunds much faster by using e-file or Free File with the direct deposit option.
In addition, the IRS has short and informative YouTube videos on a number of tax-related topics in English, Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL). The channels have received nearly 6.5 million views:
• IRS Videos — http://www.youtube.com/irsvideos
• ASL Videos — http://www.youtube.com/IRSvideosASL
• Multilingual Videos — http://www.youtube.com/IRSvideosMultilingua
Specific videos that taxpayers may view to help them get ready over the coming weeks include:
• Do-It-Yourself Free Tax Preparation ─ Helps taxpayers find free help from certified volunteers to electronically file tax returns. Taxpayers interested in helping their own communities can also watch a video to learn about becoming involved in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs.
• Do I Have to File a Tax Return? ─ Learn about the requirements for filing a tax return, including income limits and age, and why taxpayers may want to file even if they don't have to.
• How to Get 1040 Forms ─ Provides tips on the quickest way to get the various 1040 forms on IRS.gov.
• Tax Scams ─ Offers some tips on how to protect personal information and avoid becoming a tax scam victim.
• Record-keeping ─ Learn which financial and tax files to keep and how long to keep them.
• Changed Your Name After Marriage or Divorce? ─ Find out what you need to do if you have changed your name before you file your tax return.
• Choosing a Tax Preparer ─ Hear some useful tips for choosing a reputable tax preparer.
The IRS uses social media tools and platforms to share the latest information on tax changes, initiatives, products and services. These social media platforms include the IRS2Go phone application, YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook. To protect taxpayer privacy, the IRS only uses social media tools to share public information, not to answer personal tax or account questions. It advises taxpayers to never post confidential information, like a Social Security number, on social media sites. A listing is available on IRS.gov.
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