IRS extends call service hours for taxpayers in need of assistan - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

IRS extends call service hours for taxpayers in need of assistance

Source: WAFB Source: WAFB
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The IRS is extending its customer service hours for its toll-free call center, which is in high demand as the tax deadline nears.

The first two weeks of April are typically the busiest for the IRS, as they take thousands of calls every hour. The hours for the call center will be extended on April 8 and 15. On these two Saturdays, the call center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The phone number for the call center is 800-829-1040.

Taxpayers who need to visit a local IRS office must first make an appointment here, or call 844-545-5640 to reach a representative.

The tax deadline this year is April 18, which is later than the usual deadline of April 15. This is due to several reasons, including that April 15 falls on a Saturday this year. Online resources from the IRS are provided below:

  • Finding Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) – If taxpayers changed tax preparation software this year, they may be asked for their adjusted gross income to help verify their identity. Taxpayers must use the procedures outlined on IRS.gov for getting their AGI. Phone assistors cannot provide taxpayers with their AGI.
  • “Where’s My Refund?” – The “Where’s My Refund?” tool has the most up-to-date information on refunds. Toll-free assistors do not have any more updated information than what’s available on the tool.
  • Get Transcript – Taxpayers can view a tax transcript, a summary of their tax return, online or order it by mail. Taxpayers may need this for non-tax reasons, such as student or mortgage loan income verification. Taxpayers may also request a transcript to obtain Adjusted Gross Income information.
  • Keyword Search – Taxpayers can use the IRS website’s search tool to track down a topic and get the answer to a question 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Or, try the Interactive Tax Assistant, an excellent resource to get answers to commonly-asked questions.

The IRS also encourages taxpayers to visit the Help and Resources page as well as Let Us Help You pages on IRS.gov for quick answers and faster service.

For those who have yet to file their return, free, last-minute assistance is still available. Taxpayers can use the IRS Free File or visit a community tax help site for free tax preparation and assistance. 

IRS Free File is available for anyone who earned less than $64,000 last year. Since 2003, more than 50 million people have used IRS Free File and saved $1.5 billion based on a $30 fee estimate.

Active duty military personnel with incomes of less than $64,000 may use IRS Free File as well. Taxpayers who earned more than $64,000 last year can use the IRS Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms. IRS Free File will be available through Monday, October 16. 

Those who qualify can get free tax preparation assistance at almost 12,000 community sites across the country. These free sites are typically located at shopping malls, schools, and community centers. Community tax help consists of two programs, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program. These programs are designed to assist those who make less than $54,000 per year, those with disabilities, the elderly, and those with limited proficiency in English.

These programs help taxpayers prepare basic returns, both federal and state, and help to determine what credits, deductions, and allowable expenses a taxpayer might be eligible for. These programs do not however assist with business tax returns or complex individual returns.

To find the nearest VITA or TCE site, use the locator tool available on the IRS website here, download the IRS mobile app, or call 800-906-9887.

The military and the IRS also provide free tax assistance to military personnel and their families. The Armed Forces Tax Council (AFTC) consists of tax program coordinators for the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. The AFTC oversees the operation of military tax programs and serves as outreach by the IRS to military personnel.   

More resources are available on IRS.gov.

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