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Do-it-your-selfers take note

Taxpayers determined to grapple with their 1040s themselves rather than relying on a preparer can find help from several sources:

*Most public libraries offer tax forms, commercial tax guides, and IRS Publication 17, a line-by-line guide to completing a return.

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*The IRS offers in-person help for questions about tax forms and other matters. Its offices are under the government listings in the phone book.

*The IRS provides phone help at 800-829-1040, round the clock. The phone lines are freest late in the week and early in the morning. However, even the IRS admits to wrong advice 15 percent of the time.