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McClatchy-Tribune  02/17/2014 3:01 PM ET
Need tax help? Don't call the IRS during Presidents' Day week [The Sacramento Bee :: ]

Feb. 17--Thinking of calling the IRS for some tax help this holiday week? Don't.

Due to a normally busy call volume during the three-day Presidents' Day weekend and the week after, the IRS is asking taxpayers to instead use its website, www.irs.gov, or its smartphone app, IRS2Go.

Traditionally, the IRS experiences higher-than-normal call volume during the mid-February holiday week. But this year, due to limited IRS staffing resources, it's expected to be particularly difficult to reach a live staffer on the IRS' toll-free line, said IRS spokesman David Tucker.

To "avoid long waits on the telephone," the IRS suggests some alternate ways to find help in the next week:

Didn't get a W-2? Employers are supposed to send them out by Jan. 31. If you haven't received yours by mid-February, contact your employer to be sure it has your correct address. Only after exhausting all options at work, contact the IRS, which will send a letter to your employer.

Where's your refund? Most refunds are processed within 21 days and IRS phone centers will not issue status information before that time. The fastest way to find the status of your refund is to click on on the mobile app or Where'sMyRefund? online.

Tax questions? Want to know your filing status, what qualifies as a deduction, etc.? Search by key words on the the IRS website. The IRS also has YouTube videos that cover numerous tax topics and a pre-recorded TeleTax line for basic questions, ( 800) 829-4477. For help locating one of 13,000 free tax-help centers nationwide, search by zip code for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Care for the Elderly (TCE) locations on the IRS' website or smartphone app.

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