Arizona Department of Revenue has suite of support programs
The deadline to file tax year 2018 individual income tax returns is April 15 and the Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) has a number of support resources in place to assist taxpayers.
ADOR encourages electronic filing as it is more secure, more efficient and faster than paper returns. Average processing times for refunds from e-filed returns are currently six days compared 12 days for refunds from paper returns.
- E-File – Visit the department’s E-File Services page at https://azdor.gov/e-file-services to view the list of software providers certified to submit electronically filed returns with ADOR. The department encourages tax filers to e-file their individual income taxes.
- Online Forms – Arizona offers fillable forms that are online versions of tax forms designed for taxpayers who prefer to prepare their own returns. Arizona forms and instructions are available to print at https://www.azdor.gov/Forms.
Individual income tax filers needing additional assistance this tax filing season are reminded they may qualify for free tax preparation options that are available in the state.
- Free File Alliance – Offers a free file program to Arizona taxpayers who earned $66,000 or less in 2018. Please visit https://azdor.gov/e-services/free-electronic-filing-individuals for more information.
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) – Offers free tax help to people who generally make $55,000 or less, persons 60 years old or older with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. For more information and to take advantage of this program, please visit irs.gov/Individuals/Free-Tax-Return-Preparation-for-You-by-Volunteers.
- AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program – Offers free assistance to individuals 50 and older who cannot afford a tax preparation service to file federal and Arizona returns. AARP Tax-Aide sites do not have income restrictions. For more information and to take advantage of this program, please visit aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide.
After you file:
- Where’s My Refund? Taxpayers can check on the status of their refunds by clicking the “Where’s My Refund?” link https://AZTaxes.gov/Home/CheckRefund.
- Direct Deposit. Direct deposit is an easy and convenient way for a taxpayer to get their refund. Direct deposit is available whether the return is filed electronically or by mail.
Taxpayers requiring more time to file their returns can fill out Form 204 for a six-month extension. This form needs to be submitted by the April 15 deadline. As a reminder, an extension does not grant a taxpayer more time to pay tax owed. If a taxpayer has already been granted an extension through the IRS, an Arizona extension is not required.
Check out ADOR’s website at www.azdor.gov for additional information on tax filing requirements, instructions and answers to frequently asked questions.
IRS Tax Support Options
The Internal Revenue Service also has a variety of options to get help preparing and filing their tax returns on IRS.gov. Taxpayers can also find answers to their tax questions and resolve tax issues on IRS.gov, the official IRS website.
As the tax deadline nears and the demand for IRS tax help by phone is higher, the IRS encourages taxpayers to make IRS.gov their first stop when questions arise, as the website offers answers to many of the most common taxpayer questions, like “Where’s My Refund?”, how to make tax payments and how to get forms and instructions. IRS.gov offers online help for individual taxpayers as well as tax professionals and has more than 358 million page views this tax-filing season.
IRS.gov is also mobile friendly. The website will resize and adapt based on the type of device taxpayers use to access it. This allows a better experience and optimal viewing for those using smart phones or tablets.
Taxpayers have easy access to information through the File, Pay, Refunds, Credits & Deductions and Forms & Instructions links at the top of every page. Additional links give taxpayers one-click access to the help page, news center, content in other languages, information for charities and nonprofits and resources for tax professionals.
The IRS.gov search tool gives taxpayers an easier way to explore the large variety of content on the site. Taxpayers can filter the search results by content type, taxpayer audience type and archived content.
Taxpayers can go to View Your Account Information to securely access information about their federal tax account. They can view the amount they owe, pay online or set up an online payment agreement; access their tax records online; review the past 18 months of payment history; and view key tax return information for the current year as filed. Visit IRS.gov/secureaccess to review the required identity authentication process.
Other self-service tools provide users with around the clock help. There are items for individuals, businesses and tax professionals. For example, the Withholding Calculator can help taxpayers determine if they’re having enough taxes withheld from their paychecks.
Links to IRS YouTube videos are available on a variety of tax topics including extensions, common errors and payment options. This month, the IRS celebrated the 10th anniversary of its YouTube channel launch. During the 10-year period, almost 16 million people viewed user-friendly information in English, Spanish and American Sign Language.
More than 70 percent of taxpayers qualify for free tax software through IRS Free File. This special service is available only on IRS.gov or through the IRS2Go mobile app. The app allows taxpayers to use a smartphone or tablet to prepare and file their tax returns Taxpayers can also use IRS2go to check their refund status, make a payment or access other helpful tools.
Another good first stop is the IRS Services Guide, which provides an overview of the many IRS.gov tools available to taxpayers and tax professionals. For fast answers to general tax questions, taxpayers can search the Interactive Tax Assistant, Tax Topics, Frequently Asked Questions, Tax Trails and IRS Tax Map.
With major changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the IRS encourages taxpayers seeking more information on tax reform to consult two online resources: Publication 5307, Tax Reform: Basics for Individuals and Families, and Publication 5318, Tax Reform: What’s New for Your Business. For other tips and resources, visit IRS.gov/taxreform or check out the Get Ready page on IRS.gov.
All IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers now operate by appointment. Customer service representatives are available by calling 844-545-5640, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., to schedule appointments. Before making an appointment, taxpayers should check the hours of operation and services offered at their nearest TAC.