The IRS has warned that the coming three-day weekend typically kicks off one of the busiest weeks of the tax filing season for the service’s phone lines, and encourages those who need IRS help to use alternative communication methods.

“The entire week of the Presidents Day holiday marks a peak time in the number of calls to the IRS and we encourage taxpayers to visit as the best place to get quick help and answers to your questions,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

The service’s online tools allow for checking refunds’ status, requesting copies of tax transcripts or getting answers to tax questions. The IRS Services Guide offers a quick overview of online services and resources for both preparers and taxpayers. IRS information and some tools also are in Spanish.

The most common subjects of questions that the IRS fields this time of year cover the whereabouts of refunds, missing W-2s, how to receive tax transcripts and payment of tax bills.

Budget cuts reportedly threaten some taxpayer services such as the speed of processing refunds. The service also reports that the season has started strong: As of January 31, the IRS received more than 14 million returns, more than 13 million of them e-filed. That constitutes about 10% of the returns the IRS expects to see filed by season’s end.

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