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A new IRS mobile app will help taxpayers prepare and file their tax returns by the April 15 deadline.

IRS Announces New Products and Services for 2013 Filing Season

  • 2/6/2013

IRS Announces New Products and Services for 2013 Filing Season

The IRS opened the 2013 filing season by announcing a number of enhanced products and services to help taxpayers prepare and file their tax returns by the April 15 deadline. The IRS has now begun accepting and processing returns after updating forms and testing the processing system to reflect the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, enacted in January.

IRS website

The IRS has updated and redesigned its website. The enhancements allow taxpayers easy access to information on refunds and links to taxpayer-friendly videos on the IRS YouTube channel. Taxpayers can access Free File, which provides options for free brand-name tax software or online fillable forms plus free electronic filing. Information on the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which provides free tax preparation and electronic filing for those with income at or below $51,000 is also available on the website. The IRS has also added a number of sites where taxpayers can obtain assistance through two-way video conferencing.

Apps and social media

The IRS is now offering its IRS2Go smartphone application, which allows taxpayers to check on the status of their tax refund and obtain useful information. Other IRS social media platforms provide helpful information, including YouTube, Twitter feeds, and Tumblr. Social media tools are used by the IRS only to provide information, not to answer personal tax or account questions.

Where’s my refund?

New this year, the Where’s My Refund? tool on the IRS website will give taxpayers a personalized refund date instead of an estimated date, and the system will update every 24 hours. The IRS expects to issue refunds within the usual timeframes; however, taxpayers should remember that while most tax refunds are issued within 21 days, some tax returns need additional time to be reviewed.

Identity theft

The IRS has expanded efforts to combat identity theft and refund fraud. This includes stronger screening filters for incoming tax returns, increased IRS criminal investigation activity, and expanded partnerships with local law enforcement officials and financial institutions. More than 3,000 IRS employees have been assigned to work on identify-theft-related issues. In addition, the IRS has trained 35,000 employees who work with taxpayers to recognize identity theft indicators and help people who have been victimized.

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