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H&r block Publication 538 - Additional Material Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Deceptive pitches for investments often misrepresent or leave out facts in order to promote fantastic profits with little risk. No investment is risk-free and a high rate of return means greater risk. Before investing, get written information such as a prospectus or annual report. Beware if a salesperson:

  • Encourages you to borrow money or cash in retirement funds to invest;
  • Pressures you to invest immediately;
  • Promises quick profits;
  • Says that the disclosure documents required by Federal law are just a formality;
  • Tells you to write false information on your account form;
  • Sends material with typos or misspellings or not printed on letterhead;
  • Does not send your money promptly;
  • Offers to share inside information; or
  • Uses words like "guarantee","high return","limited offer", or "as safe as a CD".
  • Uses the phrase, "this investment is IRA-approved."
  • Claims that "off-shore investments are tax-free and confidential."

Investing in Gold

Many financial experts recommend buying gold as part of a balanced portfolio. Some suggest buying only a small amount because values can fluctuate; others recommend heavier investments.
There are a number of ways to invest in gold; common ones include bullion, certificates, and coins. Most people depend on an investment advisor or company to help them choose. Make sure the person or company you choose is licensed with your state securities administrator.
Also, be aware that the U.S. Mint's American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins are the only gold coins guaranteed by the U.S. government in terms of purity, weight, and content. They're available from precious metal or collectible coin dealers, certain banks, and brokerage houses. If you're considering investing in gold, do your homework first. Check with the U.S. Mint.
The Federal Trade Commission is another useful source for information on protecting yourself against scam artists touting coins and precious metals as safe investments to hedge against bad economic times.

The H&r Block

H&r block 6. H&r block   How To Get Tax Help Table of Contents Whether it's help with a tax issue, preparing your tax return or a need for a free publication or form, get the help you need the way you want it: online, use a smart phone, call or walk in to an IRS office or volunteer site near you. H&r block Free help with your return. H&r block   You can get free help preparing your return nationwide from IRS-certified volunteers. H&r block The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps low-to-moderate income, elderly, people with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers. H&r block The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. H&r block Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing and all volunteers will let you know about credits and deductions you may be entitled to claim. H&r block In addition, some VITA and TCE sites provide taxpayers the opportunity to prepare their own return with help from an IRS-certified volunteer. H&r block To find the nearest VITA or TCE site, you can use the VITA Locator Tool on IRS. H&r block gov, download the IRS2Go app, or call 1-800-906-9887. H&r block   As part of the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program. H&r block To find the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, visit AARP's website at www. H&r block aarp. H&r block org/money/taxaide or call 1-888-227-7669. H&r block For more information on these programs, go to IRS. H&r block gov and enter “VITA” in the search box. H&r block   For more information on these programs, go to IRS. H&r block gov and enter “VITA” in the search box. H&r block Internet. H&r block    IRS. H&r block gov and IRS2Go are ready when you are —24 hours a day, 7 days a week. H&r block Download the free IRS2Go app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play. H&r block Use it to check your refund status, order transcripts of your tax returns or tax account, watch the IRS YouTube channel, get IRS news as soon as it's released to the public, subscribe to filing season updates or daily tax tips, and follow the IRS Twitter news feed, @IRSnews, to get the latest federal tax news, including information about tax law changes and important IRS programs. H&r block Check the status of your 2013 refund with the Where's My Refund? application on IRS. H&r block gov or download the IRS2Go app and select the Refund Status option. H&r block The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. H&r block Using these applications, you can start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after we receive your e-filed return or 4 weeks after you mail a paper return. H&r block You will also be given a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. H&r block The IRS updates Where's My Refund? every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you only need to check once a day. H&r block Use the Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) to research your tax questions. H&r block No need to wait on the phone or stand in line. H&r block The ITA is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and provides you with a variety of tax information related to general filing topics, deductions, credits, and income. H&r block When you reach the response screen, you can print the entire interview and the final response for your records. H&r block New subject areas are added on a regular basis. H&r block  Answers not provided through ITA may be found in Tax Trails, one of the Tax Topics on IRS. H&r block gov which contain general individual and business tax information or by searching the IRS Tax Map, which includes an international subject index. H&r block You can use the IRS Tax Map, to search publications and instructions by topic or keyword. H&r block The IRS Tax Map integrates forms and publications into one research tool and provides single-point access to tax law information by subject. H&r block When the user searches the IRS Tax Map, they will be provided with links to related content in existing IRS publications, forms and instructions, questions and answers, and Tax Topics. H&r block Coming this filing season, you can immediately view and print for free all 5 types of individual federal tax transcripts (tax returns, tax account, record of account, wage and income statement, and certification of non-filing) using Get Transcript. H&r block You can also ask the IRS to mail a return or an account transcript to you. H&r block Only the mail option is available by choosing the Tax Records option on the IRS2Go app by selecting Mail Transcript on IRS. H&r block gov or by calling 1-800-908-9946. H&r block Tax return and tax account transcripts are generally available for the current year and the past three years. H&r block Determine if you are eligible for the EITC and estimate the amount of the credit with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Assistant. H&r block Visit Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter to get answers to questions about a notice or letter you received from the IRS. H&r block If you received the First Time Homebuyer Credit, you can use the First Time Homebuyer Credit Account Look-up tool for information on your repayments and account balance. H&r block Check the status of your amended return using Where's My Amended Return? Go to IRS. H&r block gov and enter Where's My Amended Return? in the search box. H&r block You can generally expect your amended return to be processed up to 12 weeks from the date we receive it. H&r block It can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed it to show up in our system. H&r block Make a payment using one of several safe and convenient electronic payment options available on IRS. H&r block gov. H&r block Select the Payment tab on the front page of IRS. H&r block gov for more information. H&r block Determine if you are eligible and apply for an online payment agreement, if you owe more tax than you can pay today. H&r block Figure your income tax withholding with the IRS Withholding Calculator on IRS. H&r block gov. H&r block Use it if you've had too much or too little withheld, your personal situation has changed, you're starting a new job or you just want to see if you're having the right amount withheld. H&r block Determine if you might be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax by using the Alternative Minimum Tax Assistant on IRS. H&r block gov. H&r block Request an Electronic Filing PIN by going to IRS. H&r block gov and entering Electronic Filing PIN in the search box. H&r block Download forms, instructions and publications, including accessible versions for people with disabilities. H&r block Locate the nearest Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) using the Office Locator tool on IRS. H&r block gov, or choose the Contact Us option on the IRS2Go app and search Local Offices. H&r block An employee can answer questions about your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. H&r block Before you visit, check the Office Locator on IRS. H&r block gov, or Local Offices under Contact Us on IRS2Go to confirm the address, phone number, days and hours of operation, and the services provided. H&r block If you have a special need, such as a disability, you can request an appointment. H&r block Call the local number listed in the Office Locator, or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service. H&r block Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). H&r block Go to IRS. H&r block gov and enter Apply for an EIN in the search box. H&r block Read the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, or other official guidance. H&r block Read Internal Revenue Bulletins. H&r block Sign up to receive local and national tax news and more by email. H&r block Just click on “subscriptions” above the search box on IRS. H&r block gov and choose from a variety of options. H&r block Phone. H&r block    You can call the IRS, or you can carry it in your pocket with the IRS2Go app on your smart phone or tablet. H&r block Download the free IRS2Go app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play. H&r block Call to locate the nearest volunteer help site, 1-800-906-9887 or you can use the VITA Locator Tool on IRS. H&r block gov, or download the IRS2Go app. H&r block Low-to-moderate income, elderly, people with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers can get free help with their tax return from the nationwide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. H&r block The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. H&r block Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing. H&r block Some VITA and TCE sites provide IRS-certified volunteers who can help prepare your tax return. H&r block Through the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program; call 1-888-227-7669 to find the nearest Tax-Aide location. H&r block Call the automated Where's My Refund? information hotline to check the status of your 2013 refund 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-829-1954. H&r block If you e-file, you can start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after the IRS receives your tax return or 4 weeks after you've mailed a paper return. H&r block The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. H&r block Where's My Refund? will give you a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. H&r block Before you call this automated hotline, have your 2013 tax return handy so you can enter your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. H&r block The IRS updates Where's My Refund? every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you only need to check once a day. H&r block Note, the above information is for our automated hotline. H&r block Our live phone and walk-in assistors can research the status of your refund only if it's been 21 days or more since you filed electronically or more than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return. H&r block Call the Amended Return Hotline, 1-866-464-2050, to check the status of your amended return. H&r block You can generally expect your amended return to be processed up to 12 weeks from the date we receive it. H&r block It can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed it to show up in our system. H&r block Call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676) to order current-year forms, instructions, publications, and prior-year forms and instructions (limited to 5 years). H&r block You should receive your order within 10 business days. H&r block Call TeleTax, 1-800-829-4477, to listen to pre-recorded messages covering general and business tax information. H&r block If, between January and April 15, you still have questions about the Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ (like filing requirements, dependents, credits, Schedule D, pensions and IRAs or self-employment taxes), call 1-800-829-1040. H&r block Call using TTY/TDD equipment, 1-800-829-4059 to ask tax questions or order forms and publications. H&r block The TTY/TDD telephone number is for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability. H&r block These individuals can also contact the IRS through relay services such as the Federal Relay Service. H&r block Walk-in. H&r block   You can find a selection of forms, publications and services — in-person. H&r block Products. H&r block You can walk in to some post offices, libraries, and IRS offices to pick up certain forms, instructions, and publications. H&r block Some IRS offices, libraries, and city and county government offices have a collection of products available to photocopy from reproducible proofs. H&r block Services. H&r block You can walk in to your local TAC for face-to-face tax help. H&r block An employee can answer questions about your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. H&r block Before visiting, use the Office Locator tool on IRS. H&r block gov, or choose the Contact Us option on the IRS2Go app and search Local Offices for days and hours of operation, and services provided. H&r block Mail. H&r block   You can send your order for forms, instructions, and publications to the address below. H&r block You should receive a response within 10 business days after your request is received. H&r block Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. H&r block Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613    The Taxpayer Advocate Service Is Here to Help You. H&r block The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is your voice at the IRS. H&r block Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly and that you know and understand your rights. H&r block   What can TAS do for you? We can offer you free help with IRS problems that you can't resolve on your own. H&r block We know this process can be confusing, but the worst thing you can do is nothing at all! TAS can help if you can't resolve your tax problem and: Your problem is causing financial difficulties for you, your family, or your business. H&r block You face (or your business is facing) an immediate threat of adverse action. H&r block You've tried repeatedly to contact the IRS but no one has responded, or the IRS hasn't responded by the date promised. H&r block   If you qualify for our help, you'll be assigned to one advocate who'll be with you at every turn and will do everything possible to resolve your problem. H&r block Here's why we can help: TAS is an independent organization within the IRS. H&r block Our advocates know how to work with the IRS. H&r block Our services are free and tailored to meet your needs. H&r block We have offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. H&r block   How can you reach us? If you think TAS can help you, call your local advocate, whose number is in your local directory and at Taxpayer Advocate, or call us toll-free at 1-877-777-4778. H&r block   How else does TAS help taxpayers?  TAS also works to resolve large-scale, systemic problems that affect many taxpayers. H&r block If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us through our Systemic Advocacy Management System. H&r block Low Income Taxpayer Clinics   Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) serve individuals whose income is below a certain level and need to resolve tax problems such as audits, appeals and tax collection disputes. H&r block Some clinics can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. H&r block Visit Taxpayer Advocate or see IRS Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List. H&r block Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications