IRS Interactive Tools offers a couple different interactive tools designed to help with basic tax questions. One is called the “Interactive Tax Assistant” (ITA) and the other is called “Tax Trails.”

The ITA covers a limited range of topics:

  • Do I Need to File a Tax Return?
  • Who Can I Claim as a Dependent?
  • How Much Can I Deduct for Each Exemption I Claim?
  • What is My Filing Status?
  • How Much is My Standard Deduction?
  • Am I Eligible for the Child Tax Credit?
  • Am I Eligible for the Making Work Pay Credit or Government Retiree Credit?
  • Is My Pension or Annuity Payment Taxable?
  • Are My Social Security or Railroad Retirement Tier I Benefits Taxable?
  • Do I Have Cancellation of Debt Income on My Personal Residence?

The ITA topics are interactive in that they take the user through a series of questions, and the answer varies depending on the information furnished.  The user is never required to enter a social security number.  There is an ITA search box too, but I have not found that it generates good results.  Most of the time it either takes the user to the Tax Trails tool or it reverts to the general IRS search box that opens up the search to the entire IRS website.  Tax Trails has about twice as many topics as ITA.

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