How to Contact the IRS or State Tax Authority

Need to contact the IRS? Here’s what you need to know.

When in the course of the tax season it becomes necessary to contact the IRS, you may have to wade into the tangled thickets of the nation’s tax bureaucracy. But never fear! Talking to the IRS is not as dreadful as it seems on first take.

Individuals can reach the IRS toll-free at 1-800-829-1040, Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. your local time (though Alaska and Hawaii should follow Pacific Time).

The IRS has a special phone number for those who believe they are the victim of identity theft. If this has happened to you call 1-800-908-4490.

When you call, you will have to navigate through an automatic system designed to direct your call to the right department. If you wish to bypass the automated system, press “0” repeatedly and you will be immediately routed to a live agent. Try it: it works!

Continue reading “How to Contact the IRS or State Tax Authority”

Amazon to Collect California Sales Tax

Starting September 15 Californians and Pennsylvanians will have to start paying sales tax on Amazon purchases

Listen up Amazon junkies. Starting September 15, Amazon purchases are about to get a whole lot more expensive for customers living in California and Pennsylvania. That’s because Amazon has agreed to start collecting sales tax for these two states.

This means that you better bulk up on online goods now if you want to save money.

For shoppers in these states, sales tax amounts to no inconsiderable sum. Californians pay somewhere in the neighborhood of 7.25% – 9.75% of sales tax on purchases. Pennsylvania residents, in contrast pay about 8% in sales tax.

One of Amazon’s great advantages over its brick and mortar competitors used to be its lack of sales tax, which made its goods considerably cheaper. It used to pay sales tax only in the states where it had a physical presence, such as a distribution warehouse. But over the last few years, the trend has been a new willingness on the part of Amazon to cut deals with states and start collecting sales tax. Continue reading “Amazon to Collect California Sales Tax”

Tax Deadline Delayed for Kentuckians in Federal Disaster Area

May 31 is the new 2012 tax deadline for those in the 21 Kentucky counties affected by the February 29 storms

After the severe storms, tornadoes, strong winds, and flooding that hit parts of Kentucky on February 29, 2012, President Obama declared 21 counties in the state Presidential Disaster Areas. The IRS has responded with relief in the form of a delayed tax day 2012.

Taxpayers who either live or own a business in the disaster area have a little over a month longer than normal to file their returns and take care of other tax-related business. The new deadline for these taxpayers to file both their federal return with the IRS and their state return with the Kentucky Department of Revenue is May 31, 2012.

Multiple tax deadlines falling between February 29, 2012 and May 31, 2012 have been pushed back to May 31, including the deadlines for filing an individual income tax return, making income tax payments, and making contributions to IRAs for the 2011 tax year. Both failure-to-file and failure-to-pay penalties that would normally go into effect during the postponement period will be waived until May 31.

The Kentucky Department of Revenue will match for state taxes all of the extensions made by the IRS for federal taxes. Continue reading “Tax Deadline Delayed for Kentuckians in Federal Disaster Area”