Regional
12:41 pm
Thu February 11, 2010

Las Cruces IRS Office Open Saturday, February 20

Las Cruces – The Las Cruces office of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), located at 505 S. Main, will be open additional hours on Saturday, Feb. 20, from 9 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The IRS Las Cruces staff currently provides assistance for taxpayers daily, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will be open extra hours on Saturday, to help taxpayers who may not be able to come into the office during the work week.

"This year, due to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, there are several tax credits, deductions and allowable expenses that may help individuals save money on their taxes," said Bill Brunson, IRS spokesperson. "For example, a person may qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for the first time because their income dropped due to fewer hours worked, were laid off or worse - lost a job. The average Earned Income Tax Credit for New Mexicans last year was slightly more than $2,000. Don't guess, find out if you qualify for this credit and other tax breaks by going on-line to IRS.gov or calling the IRS toll-free or dropping by the Las Cruces IRS office," he said.

IRS employees in Las Cruces 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. The most commonly requested tax forms and publications will be in stock for pick-up and face-to-face assistance in Spanish is available.

New Mexico residents who are not able to pay all their taxes owed by the April 15 deadline can obtain information about payment plans. Individual taxpayers will also be able to get assistance with existing issues such as levies on wages or bank accounts, IRS notices and letters.

"IRS offices are not typically open on Saturdays, but we hope making extra service available on Feb. 20 will help," Brunson said.

Free tax preparation and electronic filing for individuals who earn $49,000 or less will also be available (as time permits).

In addition to help at the IRS Las Cruces office, there are several free tax preparation sites across New Mexico that are run by community organizations partnering with the IRS. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program assists people who earn $49,000 or less and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program assist individuals 60 and older. Both programs provide free tax preparation for the 2009 tax return and free electronic filing. Many of these sites have Saturday hours while others offer assistance at various times during the week. Call toll-free, 1-800-906-9887, to locate the free tax help site nearest you.

Whether you are seeking tax preparation assistance at an IRS Office, a free tax help site (VITA/TCE) located in your neighborhood or from a professional tax return preparer, taxpayers should bring with them:

* A valid driver's license or photo identification (for yourself and spouse, if applicable);

* Social Security cards (tax identification numbers) for all persons listed on the return;

* A copy of last year's tax return (if available);

* Dates of birth for all persons listed on the tax return;

* All income statements, such as W-2's, 1099's, and any documents showing income or tax withheld;

* If expecting a refund, bring a cancelled check showing the account number for direct deposit purposes; and

* Any other documents or papers that may be helpful to prepare the tax return.