How many people like the IRS? According to Facebook, it's more than 80,000!
If you regularly use social media outlets to stay in touch with friends and follow people or businesses that you find interesting and relevant, consider adding the Internal Revenue Service as part of your social media interaction. Not everyone is comfortable with contacting the IRS on social media, but consider the advantages. Social media provides more channels for you to access useful information and advice regarding your taxes, and allows you to address questions without burning up your cell phone minutes while waiting on hold. As the tax filing date grows nearer and more people wonder about the impacts of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act on their tax returns, that access becomes invaluable.
The IRS has a social media presence in the following places:
Facebook – The IRS Facebook page was established in 2010 and contains useful tabs on topics such as Tax Scams and the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, as well as information about the newer health care reporting requirements established by the Affordable Care Act. General news and information are available for both individual taxpayers and those who prepare returns for others.
Twitter – Be proactive about getting updated tax information, news, and tips by subscribing to one or more of the IRS Twitter accounts. If you are a tax preparer, try @IRStaxpros to receive updated news that you can use. @IRSnews provides useful tax updates and helpful tips to individual taxpayers.
Hablas español? @IRSenEspanol is available to help Spanish-speaking taxpayers. The Taxpayer Advocate Service, a site that serves as the voice of taxpayers within the IRS and a source of help for problem resolution, issues tweets from @YourVoiceAtIRS. Finally, if you decide you can't beat them and decide to join them, @RecruitmentIRS helps those interested in an IRS career.
Tumblr – Helpful tax-related videos and podcasts can be accessed by following the IRS on Tumblr. Use your smartphone, computer, or tablet to get the information you need to find all of your potential deductions and to complete your taxes.
YouTube – If you cannot find what you need on Tumblr, how about YouTube? The IRS has posted videos on a wide variety of topics. Seek help on deductions, common tax problems, and tips to make your tax filing experience as smooth as possible. Videos are available in American Sign Language as well as English and Spanish.
If social media does not fulfill your needs, you still have alternatives to hanging on the telephone or trudging down to your local IRS office. You can sign up to receive tax tips via e-mail, available in English or Spanish. The IRS website is also full of information on virtually every tax topic. Look there for access to all forms, publications, and sets of instructions.
With all of these forms of access to IRS information, you have little excuse not to research the information that you need to do your taxes correctly and accurately, or to gather the proper information to have someone else do them for you. While very few people enjoy doing taxes, the IRS is trying to make your tax filing experience as painless as it can possibly be. Reaching out through social media is another one of those efforts. Give them a try, and leave the IRS some constructive feedback so that they can make their social media offerings as useful as possible.
Remember, you do not have to like the IRS to "like" the IRS.
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