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Monday February 19, 2018

Washington News

Washington Hotline

IRS Help during Peak Tax Season

As the April 18 filing deadline approaches, millions of Americans are rushing to complete 2016 tax returns. In IR-2017-76, the Service announced extended hours for the IRS toll-free call centers.

There are new Saturday hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the 800-829-1040 line. These new hours will be available on April 8 and April 15.

Taxpayer assistance centers are also available, but will require an appointment. You should call 844-545-5640 to set up your appointment.

In IR-2017-75, the Service reminded last-minute filers about IRS Free File. Twelve public software companies provide free commercial programs for taxpayers reporting income of $64,000 or less. All active duty military members with incomes of $64,000 or less may use any Free File program. Other taxpayers will have at least one free tax software preparation program available.

People with income of $54,000 or less, those with disabilities and the elderly may also qualify for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE). Trained volunteers will use tax software to help you file your return. You may use the VITA or TCE "locator tool" on or the smart phone app IRS2GO to find a local site.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen reports a smooth filing session for 2017. By March 31, the IRS received 93 million of the expected 152 million returns. The Service has issued 74 million refunds that total over $213 billion. The average refund is $2,900.

Koskinen reports, "The smooth operation of the filing season is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the IRS workforce. It is important to note that administering the filing season does not happen automatically or by accident, but because thousands of IRS employees spend months planning in advance for the filing season and then administering it effectively."

Published April 7, 2017
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