IRS News Release  
April 12, 1989

Extra Taxpayer Help Available

To provide extra help to taxpayers during the last few days of the filing season, the Internal Revenue Service is offering extended telephone hours on Saturday, April 14 and Monday, April 16.

On Saturday, toll-free telephone service will be offered for five hours, generally in the morning. On Monday toll-free phone service will be extended two hours, until about 7:00 p.m. IRS is not extending walk-in service on Monday, but offices will remain open until the last customer has been served.

Two volunteer programs -- VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) and TCE (Tax Counseling for the Elderly) -- are also offering extra help this weekend in most parts of the country. Taxpayers can find out about schedules in their area by calling the toll-free IRS phone number or checking the local news media.

The IRS added that most commonly used tax forms and schedules are available at many post offices and libraries, where they can be photocopied.

To taxpayers who have not yet filed their federal income tax return, the IRS says that being careful now can help you avoid common mistakes made in a last-minute rush which could delay processing your return or hold up your refund.

  • File a complete return. This means attaching all your W-2 forms to the front of your return and including all the supplemental forms and schedules you need for a complete return. Also, be sure to sign and date your return. If you file jointly with your spouse, both must sign even if only one of you had income. Failure to file a complete return will delay processing because IRS has to correspond for the missing information.
  • If you take the standard deduction instead of itemizing, be sure to use the correct chart or worksheet in the instructions package. The IRS has found this year that taking the wrong standard deduction amount is one of the most common errors that slow down processing.
  • Check your math. Simple addition and subtraction errors, especially when figuring the refund or balance due, are common problems that slow down processing. To make your calculations easier, round off cents to the nearest whole dollar: for example, $1.39 become $1; $2.50 becomes $3.
  • Be sure to get the correct tax from the tax table for your filing status and taxable income. Misreading the tax table is a common error taxpayers make every year.
  • When you enclose a check for a balance due, be sure to write your social security number, daytime phone number and "1988 Form 1040" (1040A or 1040EZ) on the check or money order.
  • As of April 7 the IRS received almost 64 million returns and processed over 53 million of them, continuing the pace of the last few weeks. Refunds continue to be up -- 42 million certified as of April 6, compared to 41 million for the same period last year -- and the average refund is $824, compared to $830 last year.

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