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How international taxpayers can get IRS help

The Internal Revenue Service on Saturday held its third of four walk-in days at its Taxpayer Assistance Centers across the country. The final one will be on May 13.

These special no-appointment-needed weekend events are great for taxpayers living in the United States and Puerto Rico. But what if you're a U.S. taxpayer abroad?

IRS service for international taxpayers that formerly was offered at foreign posts of duty is no longer available. Now if you're a U.S. taxpayer abroad with specific individual or business account questions, you must contact the International Taxpayer Service Call Center by telephone or fax.

And yes, the call center is in the continental United States.

International filers, U.S.-based help: The International Call Center is operational Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time. During those time periods, call the center at (267) 941-1000. That area code covers the greater Philadelphia area. Sorry, that's not a toll-free number.

That international taxpayer help phone number is, however, this weekend's By the Numbers figure.

Material related to international tax account issues also can be faxed to (681) 247-3101. That area code belongs to West Virginia. Again, you'll pay phone charges.

Mail service also an option: Individual and business taxpayers located outside the United States may also contact the IRS by mail.

The address that individuals living abroad should use is —

Internal Revenue Service
International Accounts
Philadelphia, PA 19255-0725

Business taxpayers located outside the United States should mail their tax inquiries to —

Internal Revenue Service
International Accounts
Ogden, UT 84201-0038

Taxpayer Advocate help possible: Finally, if you're an internationally-based U.S. taxpayer and believe you need help from the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), that office's "Living Abroad?" section of its Local Taxpayer Advocate web page.

Which TAS office you call is based on where internationally you live.

If your location is in between Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) zones +7 and -11, contact the Honolulu, Hawai'i, office for assistance. The phone number is (808) 466-6375, and the fax is (855) 819-5024.

If you live in a country between GMT zones +6 and -4, contact TAS' Puerto Rico office. Call (787) 522-8601 for help in English, (787) 522-8600 if you prefer to speak Spanish, and use (855) 818-5697 to fax material.

Once TAS determines you qualify for its help, you'll be assigned to an advocate to handle your case.

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