Finding federal tax forms
While you're gathering up the records you'll
need to file your taxes, it's also a good time to start tracking
down the necessary filing paperwork.
Often when you start doing your taxes, you discover
you need another form to complete the job. By getting the forms
you expect to use -- the ones you used last year are a good starting
point -- and doing a rough tax run-through, you'll know if you're
If you use a computer
tax program you should be covered. Most updated 2003 tax software
should be available (or at least can be ordered) by now. You can
plug the new program into your PC and import any of last year's
tax data that's still applicable.
But even taxpayers who've yet to commit to computer
can still get a tax preview. There are several ways to get tax forms,
instructions and publications -- free and easy.
- You can download some commonly used forms
directly from Bankrate.com's
tax forms library. If you need some more specialized forms,
check out the Internal Revenue Service's
tax forms Web page. In addition to letting you download the
documents you need, at
the IRS site you also can review forms, instructions and explanatory
publications while online or even fill in your information on
selected forms before you print them out.
- You can have them faxed via IRS TaxFax by
calling 703-368-9694 from a fax machine. Note that this is not
a toll-free number, so if you don't live in the 703 area code
and need lots of forms, the costs will show up on your phone bill.
- You can have them mailed to you. This is
freebie: call the IRS' forms distribution center toll-free at
- You can pick them up at many local libraries
and post offices. The only drawback here is that some of these
public distribution areas carry only the basic forms, and they
may run out of those documents as the tax season progresses.
- You can also get them at any IRS office.
Check out the IRS Web site to find the location
of the IRS office closest to you.
-- Updated: Dec. 16, 2003