Late last week, the IRS announced that it will no longer be mailing tax forms. Apparently, they only mailed the forms to 8% of the population last year, and not mailing the forms will save $10 million. That’s not a small amount. If you really, really, really want to file on paper, you’ll still be able to get them at the post office or library, but it’s probably faster and easier to download them at IRS.gov. Of course, using tax software is the fastest and easiest way to file your taxes.
Help Older Relatives Get the Forms
If you’re reading this blog, then you probably already file your taxes online, so this warning isn’t for you. It is for your older relatives however. If you know that a parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle still files on paper, gently let them know that they should not expect to see those forms in the mail this year. Offer to download the forms for them. If they need instructions, swing by the post office or library to pick up the packet (it’s long, so you don’t want to print it.) If it’s a parent, offering to fill out their taxes for them is a great way to become familiar with their finances. It may even help you spot potential problems early on. For example, if you notice inaccurately entered numbers, forgotten payments, late notices, etc., that will provide an opportunity to discuss who should handle their financial matters.
If your relative won’t let you complete their taxes, refer them to the AARP, which offers free tax preparation for low-income filers. Contact your local AARP branch for help.