South Florida is one of 12 sites nationwide offering video conferencing as the Internal Revenue Service begins accepting e-file and Free File returns today, Tuesday, Jan. 17.
The IRS kicked off the tax season by offering the new video conferencing to help taxpayers in downtown Miami at 51 SW First Ave.
Only 11 other sites in the rest of the country offer the new technology for the 2011 tax returns.
The IRS may add the video conferencing at other places.
Most taxpayers now file online.
Any taxpayer can use online Free File forms at IRS.gov. There’s no income limit for Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms, which also includes free e-filing.
Taxpayers who make $57,000 or less -- a majority of South Floridians -- can choose from about 20 software providers.
Individuals making $50,000 or less can use the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program for free tax preparation and, in many cases, free electronic filing. Individuals age 60 and older can take advantage of free tax counseling and basic income tax preparation through Tax Counseling for the Elderly. Information on these programs can be found at IRS.gov.
Just like last year, taxpayers will have until Tuesday, April 17, not the traditional April 15 deadline, to file their returns. That's because April 15 falls on a Sunday this year and Emancipation Day, a Washington, D.C., holiday is the next day, April 16.
The IRS plans to give more refunds quicker this year with some getting money back from Uncle Sam in 10 days -- as long as they e-file and have their check deposited directly.
More than nine out of 10 refunds will be sent in 21 days or less, even if taxpayers file the old-fashioned way, on paper.
However, the IRS cautions people to avoid errors so their refunds won't be delayed because of mistakes, such as listing an incorrect Social Security number, address or the wrong bank and routing number.
Some returns will also face more scrutiny if there are signs of fraud, according to an IRS statement.
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