It strikes fear in the hearts of Americans everywhere: women wailing, grown men brought to their knees. Yes, it's tax season once again.
While it can be a major pain in the neck to go though this annual ordeal, the folks at the IRS do actually provide several services via telephone to help you make more sense of this time of year.
Their TeleTax service at 1-800-829-4477 provides information on a large number of tax-related topics. Sections on where and when to file, what constitutes income, and myriad other topics are covered. Think of it as an FAQ for tax-related questions. Also available through TeleTax is automated refund information.
If you can't find what you're looking for there, you can speak to a real person as well. Representatives from the IRS are available by phone. Dial 1-800-829-1040 (TTY/TDD 1-800-829-4059) for individual tax questions, or 1-800-829-4933 for tax questions related to businesses.
If you just need to order tax forms, you can grab those by phone as well. Call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676) to order forms, publications, or instructions for this or prior years.
Many state taxing authorities offer automated or "talk to a real person" hotlines for tax related questions. Those numbers are generally available in your tax form instructions, or on their websites.