Module C: IRS Resources

IRS Tax Resources

When many people hear the IRS or Internal Revenue Service, the hair on the back of their neck goes up. Maybe that is because of a bad experience, an IRS audit, confusing paperwork, tax surprises after filing or hearing someone else’s horror story with the IRS.  For every bad story, I am confident there are good stories about the IRS, we never hear about them.  Here is their mission statement to “provide America’s taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and by applying the tax law with integrity and fairness to all.”

There are three ways in which they offer information and help regarding tax responsibilities and tax law: online, by telephone and in person.  The following is a broad overview of the many sources the IRS offers.  They have numerous resources for businesses big or small.

The IRS has developed a section strictly for businesses and it is divided by business type.

Within each type of business are numerous pages with a variety of topics.  https://www.irs.gov/businesses

On the main resource page for businesses the IRS offers a variety webpages explaining different tax issues:

Businesses:

  • Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center: Tax information for businesses with assets less than $10 million.
  • Large Business and International Tax Center: Tax Information for businesses with assets greater than $10 million:
  • Self-Employed Individuals Tax Center: Information on tax responsibilities for the self-employed.
  • IRS Video Portal: Video and audio presentations on a variety of tax issues.
  • Guide to an IRS audit: Videos about the audit process.
  • Employer ID Numbers (EIN): Explains the process of obtaining an EIN number which all businesses will need.
  • Employment Taxes: This area explains all about Federal Income Tax, Social Security, Medicare, FUTA and more.
  • Forms and Publications: All the tax forms a business may need with instruction booklets on how to fill out the form.

Those are just a few of the web pages of information that are offered.  Depending upon the question, there is no doubt you will be able to find it through these resources.

The business category has four categories: Corporations, Partnerships, International Businesses, and Small Businesses & Self Employed.  Each category has its own web page with a large amount of information pertaining to the businesses specific tax requirements.

Corporations:

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/corporations

  • This webpage will provide information about tax shelters, transactions, appeals, e-filing for large businesses, corporate executive compliance, forms, filing requirements, appeals and there are more areas of assistance.
  • There is also a webpage for the Internal Revenue Code and Tax Regulations in this section.
  • Corporations have complicated tax issues and there are lots of very specific webpages for these issues.

 Partnerships:

  https://www.irs.gov/businesses/partnerships

  • The partnership has webpages concerning partnership forms, audit techniques, starting a business, e-filing, and more.
  • There are also resources about the formation, termination and distributions for partnerships.
  • There is a page for Publication 541 which contains all the tax information for partnerships.

 International Businesses:

 https://www.irs.gov/businesses/international-businesses

  • This section provides tax information for International Businesses.
  • Here are just a few of the many webpages available when doing business internationally: FAQ for international taxpayers, alien tax status, tax treaties, U.S. citizens living abroad (tax issues), and an offshore voluntary disclosure program.
  • There is a whole section devoted to FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act): forms, compliance, and what financial institutions need to know.

 Small Businesses & Self Employed:

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed

  • This section has a wealth of information for those starring a new business.
  • There are webpages on forms and instructions booklets, how prepare your taxes, filing and paying those taxes, calendars to keep you on time with payment, information about structuring businesses and information for the self-employed and the Independent contractor.
  • There is an excellent section about starting a business. It has a lot of information about the business owner’s responsibilities to federal taxes.
  • There is a section about all kinds of business topics: A to Z, too many to list here.
  • They have an online Learning and Educational Product section. Within this area there is a link to the SBA, United States Small Business Administration.  It has 61 videos over a variety of topics.  Encore Entrepreneurship for Women, focuses on women over 50.  Yeah that’s me.  Another one about Crowdfunding for Entrepreneurs and one about Social Media Marketing.  Some are set up as courses and some are more informational.

 I have included a section on Charities and Non-Profits for those that are interested in this type of business.

Charities & Non-Profits:

            https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations

  • This section is broken down between churches and religious organizations, political organization, private foundations, and other non-profits.
  • There is general tax information for charitable organizations and then it breaks off into the categories above.
  • There is also an A to Z index too numerous to list here all the topics.

In addition to all the above specific resources, the IRS has a News & Events page.  This is a rolling page with daily news from the IRS.  They also have two pages News Essentials and Newsroom Topics.

IRS Personnel Resources:

There may come a time when you need to speak with an IRS representative and there a few ways the IRS has set up to deal with these needs.

  • Toll-Free Numbers: These numbers cover a variety of issues for businesses.

https://www.irs.gov/uac/irs-offers-new-toll-free-numbers-to-assist-taxpayers

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/telephone-assistance-contacts-for-business-customers

  • There are Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACS) throughout the country. They operate by appointment only.  It is important once you find the office in your area to see what services they offer as offices offer different services. TACS can be located by going to the link below and searching by your zip code.  Directions on how to make an appointment will then appear and this can vary from state to state.  They strongly encourage people to use the resources on the web before making an appointment.

https://www.irs.gov/help-resources/contact-your-local-irs-office

  • Taxpayer Advocate Service: Within the IRS is an independent organization called the Taxpayer Advocate Service. Each state has at least one and they function “as your voice at the IRS”.  Meaning, when all else fails and you are unable to get the response and the help you need resolving tax issues, this service should be utilized.  To use this service, there is a Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance form you will need to submit.  It is form 911.  Not joking about that number and you thought the IRS did not have a sense of humor. This is for serious situations and not “frivolous arguments”.  Frivolous arguments are subject to penalties. The form is available on the link below. https://www.irs.gov/advocate/local-taxpayer-advocate/contact-your-local-taxpayer-advocate

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