IRS Offers Saturday Help To Troubling Tax Returns

In an effort to make your tax return preparation somewhat less of a headache, the IRS has instituted exciting new measures that are now in effect'To make themselves better available to the scores of taxpayers who masochistically rely on the IRS for help in preparing their tax returns, the IRS is now offering SATURDAY hours'That's right! You can spend part of your precious weekend visiting with official IRS employees who will be glad to help you sift through your shoe boxes and shopping bags of receipts and piece together something resembling a tax return.

Saturday hours

In effect now through April 10, are 8:30 a.m'to 12:30 p.m'You should report to the first floor of the Minton Capehart Federal Building at 575 N'Pennsylvania right here in Indianapolis with your bag o'receipts in tow'Bring whatever receipts and records you can find that will make the job of creating a tax return more complete and meaningful''The more they bring, the more we can help,'according to Michele Lassaux, the helpful IRS Communications Specialist who provided me with this information' If Saturday tax preparation is not your cup of tea, you can try your luck at the IRS office during normal business hours of 8-4:30 Monday through Friday.

Although the IRS office is staffed with trained IRS employees, you may decide to cast your tax fate to the wind and sample the volunteer services going on at various libraries in Indianapolis'Known in inner circles as VITA, which either stands for Vegetarians for Instant Tax Aggravation, or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, depending on where you go, this program is staffed by (vegetarian) volunteers who are willing to test their skills at preparing your tax return out of the goodness of their healthy hearts.

Library tax volunteers have all received special training and clearance from the IRS'No two libraries have the same hours for this service, so call the library and check on their tax preparation times before you bundle up and head outside in the freezing temperatures with your arms full of tax receipts'One more thing, the VITA service is designed to help low-income and/or elderly individuals in filling out basic tax forms'You wealthy youngsters with complicated tax forms will have to seek help elsewhere.

Credit cards a reality

The IRS has finally gotten around to telling us which credit cards they are going to accept in payment for taxes, and the winners are: MasterCard, Discover, and Novus (Novus?)'You VISA and American Express cardholders are out of luck, as are holders of Amoco, Shell, and Ayres cards'The IRS will not extract any surcharge for the right to pay your taxes with plastic, but your credit card company will charge its normal fees, just as if you were purchasing a new CD player or a fashion wardrobe.

IRS admits to errors.

In its continuing effort to polish its image of Good
Neighbor IRS, the IRS has started fessing up to mistakes on its popular web
site: http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/prod/cover.html . You of course must have a computer to access the Internet and the IRS'web site'Once there, click the 'What's Hot'option listed at the bottom of the screen'You will see a lot of boring text, and, if you look hard enough, a link to 'Problem Alerts.'Click this link for an up-to-the-minute run-down of mistakes the IRS has made'So far, the only mistake that appears is a notice that all taxpayers who received Form 4562 for Depreciation and Amortization in their tax packets got the wrong instructions with the form' The IRS has plans in place to send out 700,000 apology letters to the affected taxpayers (our tax dollars at work), along with the proper instructions'If you're one of these taxpayers and are in a sweat to read the real instructions that should accompany your depreciation and amortization form, you can download them from the IRS web site, call the IRS at 1-800-TAX-FORM, or pay a Saturday visit to the IRS to pick up the instructions in person.

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