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IRS to open offices Saturday

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

For the third time this year, the Internal Revenue Service is planning to open its Georgia offices to taxpayers over the weekend, in order to help answer their questions and solve their tax problems.

IRS officials said offices will be open nationwide, on Saturday, to provide assistance to small businesses and individuals. Eight offices statewide are scheduled to be open between 9 a.m., and 2 p.m., including three locations in Atlanta.

Officials said this weekend's extra service will be available for area taxpayers at three metro Atlanta offices, including the Summit Office, at 401 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta; the Kroger Office, at 2888 Woodcock Blvd., Atlanta; and the Smyrna Office, at 1899 Powers Ferry Road, Atlanta.

IRS Spokeswoman Dee Stepter said the open-house event serves a cross-section of taxpayers, like those who missed the April 15 filing deadline, those who filed for an extension, and those who wish to amend their returns. Tax return preparation also will be available for low- to moderate-income taxpayers with incomes under $49,000.

Stepter said the event will give taxpayers opportunities to ask questions about tax notices, make payment arrangements for due taxes, or file amendments to their returns for exemptions and credits.

Two such credits are the first-time homebuyers' credit and the long-time residents credit, worth as much as $8,000 and $6,500 respectively, for those who are eligible, she added. With the first-time homebuyers' credit, for instance, taxpayers must have closed on a home, or entered into a binding contract, by April 30. She said those taxpayers must close on their new home by June 30, and file the credit on their amended returns.

Stepter said that, as of mid-February, nearly 1.8 million Americans nationwide had filed returns claiming the first-time homebuyers' tax credit, which totaled $12.6 billion in credits. In Georgia, she said, 71,011 residents filed and had returns processed with first-time homebuyers' tax credits with a combined worth of more than $506.4 million.

Stepter said Saturday's open house is designed to ensure that all who qualify for the credits have the opportunity to reap the benefits. Taxpayers can also get assistance with questions related to any other recent tax law changes.

"Our goal is to assist and resolve tax-related questions and issues, on the spot, for small businesses and individuals," said IRS Spokesman Mark Green. "IRS offices are not typically open on Saturdays, but we hope making extra service available on Saturday in 200-plus locations [nationwide] will help ease the tax burden some people are experiencing."

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