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IRS TACs to open longer, some on Saturdays, to provide taxpayers in-person help

IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center front view_Wikipedia

This time of year, most taxpayers are focused on filing their annual tax returns.

But most isn't all. Some individuals are trying to sort out other federal tax issues.

The Internal Revenue Service is making more face-to-face time to help these taxpayers.

More time for taxpayers: The IRS has Taxpayer Assistance Centers, or TACs, across the United States. While tax return preparation is not a service offered at IRS TACs, the facilities do work with taxpayers to help resolve other tax-related issues.

Now, nearly 250 of those offices will extend their usual 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekday hours to give taxpayers additional time to get the in-person help they need.

The longer Monday-through-Friday hours will be in place through Tuesday, April 16. Even better, in most cases during this time taxpayers won't need to make appointments to get help.

Special Saturday hours, too. In addition to extended weekday hours, some TACs will again offer special Saturday hours through May.

On these special Saturdays, taxpayers can walk in to receive all services routinely provided at participating offices, except (again) for making cash payments.

One TAC appointment exception: As with all things tax, there are exceptions. Such is the case with the more accessible TACs. 

You won't need an appointment to stop by a TAC during its regular or extended hours unless you want to pay a tax bill in cash. In this case, you still need to make an appointment at your TAC by calling toll-free (844) 545-5640.

You also must bring the exact cash payment amount, as TAC agents cannot make change.

Finding your TAC and its hours: You can find out if a TAC near you is offering extended weekday hours or will be open on certain Saturdays by checking IRS.gov's locator tool on the Contact Your Local Office web page.

The online locator tells me my Austin TAC will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays through April 16 from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. That's an extra hour on those mornings, and another 1½ hours on those afternoons.

As IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel noted, that added time could make a difference for taxpayers who must schedule the tax help around their work hours.

The services provided at the Austin TAC include —

  • Account inquiries,
  • Basic individual tax law assistance,
  • Acceptance of check or money order tax payments by walk-in taxpayers, or as noted earlier, cash tax payments where an appointment has been made,
  • Other tax payment arrangements,
  • Departing alien clearances,
  • Help filing Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance,
  • Help with Form 2290, Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return,
  • Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) request,
  • Assistance with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) and/or Form W-7 filed to obtain an ITIN, and
  • Obtaining tax forms, instructions, and other IRS Publications.

Be prepared before walking in: To get the most out of the added TAC weekday hours and Saturday openings, be ready before you walk into your local office.

If you're going to a TAC to discuss questions about an earlier tax filing, bring a copy or digital image of the tax return in question if one was filed.

Those who need in-person identity verification services must bring two forms of identification. One of those ID documents must be a current government-issued photo ID.

If you need a sign language interpreter or translating English to a language with which you are more fluent and comfortable, an appointment will make things go more smoothly. The IRS can arrange for language interpretation in many languages through an over-the-phone professional translation service.

Deaf or hard of hearing individuals who need sign language interpreter services, can call TTY/TDD toll-free at (800) 829-4059 o make an appointment.

Finally, there are few things you should leave at home. The IRS doesn't want you to bring food or drinks, cameras, or weapons to a TAC meeting.

"We're inviting anyone who wants or needs some assistance to stop by," said IRS Wage & Investment Division Commissioner and Taxpayer Experience Officer Ken Corbin. Whether it's to resolve tax issues, make a payment, or answer general tax-related questions, "we're offering additional time for taxpayers to get the face-to-face help they may need," added Corbin.

This effort by the IRS to expand in-person TAC help to taxpayers, including the IRS YouTube video below on making a TAC appointment, get this weekend's Saturday Shout Out and kudos.

 

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