IRS to open tax center

ALBANY -- The Internal Revenue Service will be opening a Taxpayer Assistance Center in Albany to provide assistance to taxpayers dealing with difficult economic times, said IRS spokesman Mark Green.

"It's a face-to-face service for our customers," he said. "Our main goal is to help individuals save money on their taxes this year."

Green said that individuals who earn $49,000 or less will be able to have their taxes prepared and electronically filed for free. Those that earn $57,000 in Adjusted Gross Income can have their taxes electronically filed for free. Tax forms will also be available in the Taxpayer Assistance Center.

The center will open its doors from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at its 235 Roosevelt Ave. location.

"IRS TACs are not typically open on Saturdays," Green said. "This year, we are opening the office early in the tax season and open on Saturday to try to make it easier for the taxpayer."

Green said it is important for individuals to visit the TAC because many individuals may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) this year.

"Because of the economic climate, incomes have declined and many people now qualify for EITC," he said. "We can automatically see if you qualify for the credit right at the office."

Green said last year the IRS paid out 2.2 billion to 976,000 Georgians who qualified for the EITC. He said 25 percent of Georgians are still eligible to qualify.

"The average tax credit on a small scale for an individual who qualifies for EITC is $2,300," Green said. "The maximum is $5,657 and that does not include the taxpayer's regular refund. That is a big boost at this time that a lot of people need."

IRS employees will also be available to answer questions from taxpayers on the full range of tax law provisions and assist individuals with existing issues such as levies on wages or bank accounts, bills, notices and collection letters.

Those seeking to get their taxes prepared at the Taxpayer Assistance Center office on Roosevelt Avenue will need to bring in their statements, photo identification, social security information and birth certificates for any dependents, said Green.