Remember when you used to get a package of small booklets in the mail at the beginning of the year?
They had those real thin pages, like newspaper and there would be official computer forms included.
Well those packets, your IRS 1040 tax forms for the previous year, haven’t been mailed out since 2011.
According to the IRS, fewer and fewer taxpayers have been receiving tax packages in the mail in recent years. In fact, in 2010 only 8 percent of individuals who files taxes received tax forms in the mail.
Wow, have times changed!
I remember when I first filed taxes I picked up the forms at the local library. For years after that I had the forms mailed to me.
What’s interesting is I can’t recall when I stopped receiving the tax forms in the mail. Perhaps it was after I started filing my taxes online?
It makes sense.
I’m sure it must be a hefty expense to mail out tax forms to people in a day and age where computers are pretty much in every household or at least readily available. The number of people who file online is growing, making paper forms somewhat obsolete (certain forms still need to be mailed in though).
But that leaves the question – Where to get tax forms, like the 1040, if I need them?
Though you won’t receive your forms in the mail anymore you still can get copies of tax forms.
Among your options to get tax forms are:
- participating local libraries
- participating post offices
- local IRS offices
- online at www.irs.gov
I happened to stop by the library recently (great place to borrow books and movies for free) and I noticed there was a section set up full of tax forms. The library is a great tax resource, not only for forms but many also provide sessions to help people with their taxes.
The IRS has a page where you can download forms you can get in PDF format. Some of the forms are set up so you can enter your information on the computer before you print them out.
Here are links to some of the more popular forms (these links go directly to the PDFs from the IRS site):
Form W-4 (Withholding Calculator) – This one is important if you find yourself getting big tax returns and you’d rather have more of that money in your paycheck.
You may be able to file your taxes online for free.
If you made less than $52,000 you may be able to take advantage of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which offer free tax preparation for low to moderate income taxpayers. Volunteers are certified to help prepare basic tax returns. You can locate one of over 12,000 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites by calling 1-800-906-9887. Most of the sites also offer free e-filing.
You also may be able to file free through the IRS’ Free File site.
The IRS teamed up with many brand-name tax preparation companies to allow taxpayers use their software through the IRS. You can use the programs if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is $58,000 or less.
Here’s a quick video on the program:
If you don’t qualify for Free File’s program you may still use their Free File Fillable Forms which are online versions of IRS paper forms.
You can also go directly to online tax preparation companies such as Turbo Tax or H&R Block to see if you qualify for their free e-file versions.
So don’t worry, the IRS didn’t forget about you (and don’t do a Snoopy dance thinking you don’t have to pay taxes because you didn’t gets forms either).
Now that you know where to get IRS tax forms make sure you get them as soon as possible to make sure your taxes are complete before the tax deadline arrives!