Tax Tips: Finding the IRS forms and instructions you need

Gone are the days of schlepping to the library or some other public building to pick up your tax forms and instruction booklets. No more, "Sorry, we're out of that form." Forget being told, "I'm sorry, but I can't help you figure out which form you need."

The Internal Revenue Service has an absolutely fantastic website. I know, I know. It's hard to love anything the IRS does, but their website has been done right. A search with Google shows almost 65,000 pages indexed. That's a lot of information.

You're going to find all the forms and instructions you need there. In addition to the standard instructions, there are also a ton of "Publications" which go into great detail about the tax laws, but mostly in lay person's terms. On top of that, there are numerous pages that give further explanations and answer many common questions.

The Search function on the IRS website is pretty good, although the more specific you are with your search terms, the better the results. You can still contact the IRS the old fashioned way if you prefer, but take a look at their site first. It's categorized nicely to guide individuals and business owners to some of the most relevant and popular pages.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

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