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Published:   |   Last Updated: August 7, 2023

Taxpayer Files Return on Paper

View our interactive tax map to see where you are in the tax process. It could help you navigate your way through the IRS.

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Station Overview

The IRS encourages taxpayers and tax professionals to file electronically. However, if you decide or are required to paper file there are tools available to assist you.

The IRS provides online access to official federal tax forms, instructions and publications, which can be downloaded or printed from: https://www.irs.gov/forms-instructions.

This notice, or letter may include additional topics that have not yet been covered here. Please check back frequently for updates.

You are required to file a paper tax return if you’re:

  • Claiming a dependent who was already claimed on another tax return;
  • Filing before or after the e-file season (generally January 15 through October 15 each year);
  • Filing a prior year tax return; or
  • Filing with certain IRS forms.

If you need to file a paper tax return, consider sending it by certified mail, with a return receipt. This will be your proof of the date you mailed your tax return and when the IRS received it. You may also use certain private delivery services designated by the IRS. For mailing purposes, you can find IRS addresses on IRS.gov.

If you owe taxes, you have multiple ways to pay, including:

  • You can mail a check, money order, or cashier’s check to the IRS with a Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher (be sure to make the payment payable to the U.S. Treasury);
  • You can schedule the payment to be deducted from your bank account (Direct Pay) at no charge to you; or
  • You can pay by internet, phone, or mobile device using a Debit or Credit Card.

I need more information

If you can’t pay the taxes you owe, the IRS has payment options available. The best option for you generally depends on how much you owe and your current financial situation. Each options has different requirements and some options have fees associated with them.

Where can I get additional help?

If you still need help

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayers’ rights. We can offer you help if your tax problem is causing a financial difficulty, you’ve tried and been unable to resolve your issue with the IRS, or you believe an IRS system, process, or procedure just isn’t working as it should. If you qualify for our assistance, which is always free, we will do everything possible to help you.

Visit www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov or call 1-877-777-4778.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are independent from the IRS and TAS. LITCs represent individuals whose income is below a certain level and who need to resolve tax problems with the IRS. LITCs can represent taxpayers in audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes before the IRS and in court. In addition, LITCs can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Services are offered for free or a small fee. For more information or to find an LITC near you, see the LITC page on the TAS website or Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.