While the normal pain of settling up with Uncle Sam remains, there is some good news for the 1988 federal income tax filing season.

There are relatively few changes in the tax law. So, having struggled through the many changes of a year ago, filling in the blanks on the tax forms should be somewhat easier this time.Also, Internal Revenue Commissioner Laurence Gibbs promised the other day that taxpayers will get more right answers when they call the IRS for help. Last year's performance was pretty miserable: one out of four answers was wrong.

If you have a question that involves major money, it probably would be a good idea to get the IRS' guidance in writing. Advice given orally, if wrong, doesn't stand up well with agency auditors or in the courts.

It's also a good idea to get the forms filed as soon as possible. The chance of making mistakes increases when taxpayers wait until the last minute and then rush to meet the April 15 deadline.