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Where to Get Tax Forms

The IRS is your best source for forms and instructions

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As you are doing your federal income taxes, you may experience a moment of panic: I don’t have Schedule SE (the form for the self-employed)! Or I don’t have Schedule D (the form for capital gains)! Or I need 1040-SR (the form for seniors)!

Don’t worry. Even if your tax situation is complex, you should be able to get your tax forms easily.

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Paper returns​

The IRS no longer automatically mails out tax forms, because most people file online. But there are plenty of other reasons not to file a paper form:

You’ll get your refund later than if you had filed electronically. A lot later. The IRS says that if you file a complete and accurate paper tax return, your refund should be issued in about six to eight weeks from the date the IRS receives your return. If you file your return electronically, your refund should be issued within 21 days — less than three weeks — and even faster when you choose direct deposit.

Estimate Your 2023 Taxes

AARP’s tax calculator can help you predict what you’re likely to pay for the 2023 tax year.

You’ll help squash scammers. All the four-star scamming operations love to get their hands on a tax return. And they know to file often: If you’ve already filed, the IRS will reject the fake return. When you file electronically, the IRS gets your return quickly and safely. 

It’s easier. Electronic filing programs, many of which are free, do the calculations for you and can send your return to the IRS at the click of a mouse. Still want paper forms? The fastest and most efficient way of getting tax forms is through the Internal Revenue Service website. You’ll be able to find most tax forms, as well as the instructions for each form. You can download those forms, print them out and send them to the IRS. If you have income of less than $79,000, you can get free software that will calculate your taxes and let you file electronically for free.

If you like, you can use the IRS free file fillable forms, which will do some basic calculations for you and help you file for free electronically. You’ll have to create an IRS account to file electronically. The application is available until Oct. 15, 2024, for the 2023 tax year. All accounts and tax return information are erased after the five-day correction period in October. You’ll have to create a new account in the next tax year. Be very careful when entering your email address and your phone number; otherwise, you could get locked out of your account.

By phone and in person

The IRS doesn’t send out tax forms automatically. If you want forms, you can call the IRS at 1-800-829-3676. If you want to talk to an IRS representative, call (800) 829-1040 Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time. Peak traffic is on Presidents’ Day weekend. Finally, you can walk in and pick up your forms at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC). TACs across the country offer face-to-face assistance to taxpayers, and taxpayers can pick up many IRS forms and publications there, too. Visit and go to Get Answers to Your Tax questions, then select  Contact My Local Office followed by Find a Taxpayer Assistance Center Office to find the IRS walk-in office nearest you, as well as a list of services available at specific offices.

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Your local government offices may have federal and state tax forms. You can also get tax forms from many local libraries. If they don’t have the paper forms, they may well have computers where you can download the forms and print them out.

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