IRS offering Saturday walk-in help at select offices
The federal tax collection agency says expanding availability is part of a broader push to help people this filing season
The Internal Revue Service will be opening the doors of select Taxpayer Assistance Centers nationwide on a handful of Saturdays this filing season, as part of what the backlogged agency says is a broader aim to provide better service to taxpayers.
NEW LEGISLATION WOULD BAN IRS FROM USING FACIAL RECOGNITION SOFTWARE ON TAXPAYERS
TACs are typically not open on weekends, but certain locations will offer walk-in help on Feb. 12, March 12, April 9, and May 14. The IRS listed 35 locations across the nation that will be open on the Saturday in February, but has not yet revealed the locations that will be open for the next three dates.
"The IRS continues to do everything we can to help people during this unprecedented period," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement. "Opening these assistance centers for special Saturday hours is designed to provide yet another way for people to get the help they need."
He added, "I'm also extremely grateful to our employees who have stepped up to provide this special assistance."
VENMO, PAYPAL AND CASH APP TO REPORT PAYMENTS OF $600 OR MORE TO IRS THIS YEAR: WHAT TO KNOW
The federal tax collection agency reminded folks to come prepared if they do visit one of the TACs by bringing along a government-issue photo ID, social security cards for members of their household, and any IRS notices or other pertinent documents. Taxpayers might also need to have on-hand their bank account information for the purpose of paying or receiving direct deposits.
The IRS began this year's tax season already behind, with an estimated 10 million-plus unprocessed returns as of mid-December. By the end of the month that total had been whittled down to around 7 million, but remained far above the typical backlog of roughly 1 million returns at the start of the filing season.
The agency has carried a heavier-than-usual load over the past two years or so, being tasked with distributing multiple rounds of pandemic-related stimulus checks with a reduced workforce, and was handed the additional responsibility of sending monthly Advanced Child Tax Credit payments last year under President Biden.
The White House acknowledged last month that the IRS's customer service level is "not what the American public deserves" and urged Congress to provide more funding to the agency.
But the administration's call for more funding for the agency has been aimed at giving it greater enforcement powers in the name of closing the "tax gap" to fill government coffers and fund further multi-trillion-dollar spending initiatives.
GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE
The IRS under Biden has faced enormous pushback over proposals the administration claims are aimed at "the rich," but would apply to virtually every American – including facial recognition requirements for taxpayers that file electronically, and requiring banks to report information on Americans with transaction totals of $600 or more. The Treasury Department has back-peddled on both those initiatives, for now.
Officials at the IRS have already warned of a "challenging" tax season, and are urging folks to file their returns as early as possible and to do so electronically. The agency estimates that, barring any mistakes on returns, most taxpayers can expect their refunds within 21 days.
FOX Business' Megan Henney contributed to this report