IRS announces Saturday office hours in Garden City, Hauppauge

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Internal Revenue Service offices in Garden City and Hauppauge will offer free tax return assistance Saturday "for taxpayers dealing with difficult economic times."

The IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers at 107 Charles Lindbergh Blvd. in Garden City and 1180 Veterans Memorial Hwy. in Hauppauge will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

IRS employees in these locations will answer questions on the full range of tax law provisions, such as the new allowance for $2,400 of tax-free unemployment compensation benefits. Also, for individuals who earn $49,000 or less, free tax preparation and electronic filing will be available.

Most tax forms are available in the offices, although taxpayers who only need the forms can save themselves the trip by downloading the forms at irs.gov.

"There are many tax credits and deductions that may help individuals struggling in tough economic times to save money on their taxes this year," said Dianne Besunder, IRS spokeswoman for New York.

"For example, this year many people will qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit for the first time because their incomes declined, their marital status changed or because of credit expansions to help people as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009," Besunder said.

"Under the act, taxpayers with three or more children get an extra boost with a larger credit this year."

New Yorkers who will not be able to pay their full tax liability by the April 15 deadline and need to ask for an installment plan can receive assistance from IRS employees in arranging appropriate payment schedules.

Individual taxpayers will also be able to get assistance with existing issues such as levies on wages or bank accounts, bills and notices, and collection letters.

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"We are trying to help the people of New York cope with tax-related questions and issues they may never have faced before," Besunder said. The IRS will have more than 200 offices open nationwide on Saturday.

"IRS TACs [Taxpayer Assistance Centers] are not typically open on Saturdays, but we hope making extra service available on Saturday in these 200 plus locations will help ease the burden some people are experiencing," she said.

Many IRS offices throughout New York are extending service hours during the tax-filing season. For a full list of locations and hours of operations visit the "Individuals" section at irs.gov and select the "Contact My Local Office" link under "IRS Resources" heading.

In addition to IRS help, more than 12,000 free tax preparation sites nationwide are run by community organizations partnering with the IRS. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs assist people who earned $49,000 or less and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs assist individuals 60 and over with their 2009 income tax return preparation and electronic filing.

Many of these sites have Saturday hours, and others offer assistance at various times during the week. To locate the partner site nearest you call 800-906-9887.

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