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'Friending' The IRS

January 6, 2012, 9:50 PM by Angela Kennecke

'Friending' The IRS
SIOUX FALLS, SD - How would you like to be "friends" with the IRS on Facebook?  Now the IRS is trying to help you with your taxes through social media and a new app for your smartphone.

When you think of the IRS, a large bureaucracy may come to mind, but you probably don't think of the Internal Revenue Service on Facebook or Twitter. But that's exactly where you'll find it.

"There's a Twitter account for general taxpayers to get updated information, maybe on tax tips and initiatives we have going on. If you're interested in being employed by IRS, there's one for IRS hiring initiative as well as if you have a long-standing problem, there's a Twitter account for our taxpayer advocate office," Kristy Baker of the IRS said.

The same goes for Facebook and even YouTube. The IRS videos are the fourth most watched that the government posts on the site.

"2.2 million hits on our YouTube video;  just short informative videos, usually only minute in length.  Just tax tips, tax initiatives, things to look out for or be aware of when you get ready to file," Baker said.

The IRS says getting with the social media times help it reach audiences it may otherwise miss.

"We certainly want to be more approachable and let people know we are here to help and we work very hard at trying to make taxes as easy as we can," Baker said.

That brings us to the new IRS mobile app, called IRS2GO, which will give you the status of your refund. And while you can't file your taxes through your smartphone yet, the day could arrive soon.

"I've heard talk that could be something of the future; but for now, just the ability to check your refund, get your status of your refund on the go like that, it's incredible," Baker said.

You have until Tuesday, April 17 to file your taxes this year because the usual deadline falls on a Sunday and Monday is a holiday in Washington, DC.

The earliest you can e-file is January 17, but you'll want to make sure you have all the necessary documents and forms.

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