IRS News Release  
February 16, 1994

Winter Weather Chills Pace of Tax Return Filings

WASHINGTON - The pace of tax return filings has been slower this year, which the Internal Revenue Service believes resulted from the harsh winter weather. Filings are down most sharply at five of the seven IRS centers serving central and eastern states which have been repeatedly hit by snow, sleet and freezing rain.

The IRS expects this early filing gap to close quickly. Last week's receipts at eight of its 10 centers were near or above those for the second week of February last year and the nationwide of total--9.7 million--was the highest in several years for that particular week.

To help persons who may be working on their taxes on the upcoming Presidents' Day holiday, the IRS toll-free assistance line will be open on Monday, February 21, during normal business hours to answer questions related to return preparation. IRS walk-in offices and the special forms order lines will be closed as usual for the holiday.

Based on its experience in the early weeks of the tax filing season, the IRS is emphasizing the requirement that every taxpayer who claims the Earned Income Credit lists the Social Security Number of each qualifying child.

If the Social Security Administration (SSA) has not yet issued the number for a young child, the taxpayer should write "applied for" in place of the number and must attach a receipt from SSA to verify that the application is pending.

"The Earned Income Credit is an important help to workers with a child and income under $23,050," IRS Commissioner Margaret Milner Richardson said. "We want those who qualify to receive it and those who claim it to qualify. Our verification procedures have found some erroneous and some questionable claims, such as when taxpayers put 'applied for' for the same child last year or when out letters seeking verification went unanswered."

The IRS will suspend the credit on returns lacking the required information until taxpayers respond to a written inquiry. The IRS will send any remaining refund while it checks the taxpayer's eligibility for the credit.

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