Most people would not use the words “social” and “IRS” in the same sentence. However, the IRS is literally becoming more social – at least in their efforts to beef up an online presence in such a technologically connected world. The IRS has revamped its website, gone viral on YouTube, is tweeting to the taxpayer flock on Twitter, rolled out Tumblr, and created an App for that.
IRS Website Revamp
According to the IRS, 340 million visits to their website in 2012 set a record high – a 17% increase in traffic to IRS.gov when compared to 2011. In preparation for the 2013 tax season, the website was redesigned to be more user-friendly. “The best way for taxpayers to get answers to their questions is by visiting IRS.gov,” where “the redesigned website makes it easier than ever for taxpayers to get key forms and vital information.” The homepage can be accessed here: [url href=”http://www.irs.gov/” title=”New IRS Website” ]New IRS Website[/url]
IRS Goes Viral on YouTube
One of the social outlets accessible by links on the front page of its site is the IRS’ YouTube channel. The IRS features more than 100 short videos on YouTube, designed to answer many of taxpayers’ most common questions through a verbal and visual channel of explanation that cannot be achieved through static pages on a website. Watch the IRS’ YouTube channel here: [url href=”http://www.youtube.com/IRSVideos” title=”IRS on YouTube” ]IRS on YouTube[/url]
IRS Using Twitter to Reach Taxpayer Flock
The IRS is also utilizing the social media platform Twitter to keep taxpayers informed and up-to-date throughout tax season. Several Twitter feeds are available and can be followed @IRSnews or by clicking here: [url href=”https://twitter.com/irsnews” title=”IRS on Twitter” ]IRS on Twitter[/url]
IRS Rolls out Tumblr
This year the IRS has also implemented Tumblr into its social media arsenal. This outlet allows people to access and share tips, videos, and podcasts. To check the IRS on Tumblr, click here: [url href=”http://internalrevenueservice.tumblr.com/” title=”IRS on Tumblr” ]IRS on Tumblr[/url]
*NOTE: The IRS provides this disclaimer: “The IRS only uses social media tools to share public information, not to answer personal tax or account questions. And the IRS reminds taxpayers to never post confidential information, such as a Social Security Number, on media sites.”
IRS has an App for That
The IRS will also, for the third year, offer a smartphone application for Apple and Android users. The IRS2Go App not only enables taxpayers to obtain helpful tax information on the go, but also allows for taxpayers to check the status of their tax refund. For instructions on downloading the App, click here: [url href=”http://www.irs.gov/uac/New-IRS2Go-Offers-Three-More-Features” title=”IRS Mobile Apps” ]IRS Mobile Apps[/url]
IRS Can Still be Reached the Old-Fashioned Way
For those who are not so technologically savvy, (and also handy to everyone during any outages of the more high-tech outlets), a toll-free phone number and list of Taxpayer Assistance Centers is worth noting.
The IRS’ toll-free number is (800)829-1040. This line is open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in your local time zone. You can locate the Taxpayer Assistance Center closest to you by clicking here: [url href=”http://www.irs.gov/uac/Contact-Your-Local-IRS-Office-1″ title=”Find your local Taxpayer Assistance Center” ]Find your local Taxpayer Assistance Center[/url]
In Pensacola, the Taxpayer Assistance Center is located at 7180 North 9th Avenue, Pensacola, Florida 32504. In Panama City, the Taxpayer Assistance Center is located at 651-F West 14th Street, Panama City, Florida 32401.