VOL. 113 | NO. 33 | Wednesday, February 17, 1999
By LAURIE JOHNSON
IRS Problem-Solving Day to help Memphians with ongoing woes
By LAURIE JOHNSON
The Daily News
As the time to file 1998 tax returns approaches, its a good time to clear up any tax woes lingering from previous years.
The Internal Revenue Service will have a special team of workers in Memphis today to help local taxpayers do just that.
The IRS Taxpayer Advocates Office is holding its annual Problem-Solving Day today at the local IRS office to help taxpayers with ongoing, unresolved problems.
"We want to take the time to listen to any taxpayers who have been unable to resolve their federal tax problems through the normal IRS channels," said Etoile Beller, district taxpayer advocate for the Kentucky-Tennessee District of the IRS.
"Sometimes, talking face-to-face with taxpayers helps us better understand their situation, and Problem-Solving Day gives us the chance to do just that."
The local Problem-Solving Day will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the local IRS office, located in the Falls Building at 22 N. Front St.
Although taxpayers wishing to participate in Problem-Solving Day have been encouraged to make appointments, walk-ins will be welcome, said IRS spokesperson Dan Boone.
In addition to the Memphis IRS office staff, about 10 IRS managers and counselors will be on hand from the district office in Nashville, Boone said.
"We encourage anybody who feels like they have been treated unfairly by the IRS, or their problem has not been addressed or resolved correctly, to take advantage of this chance to talk face-to-face with one of our people," Boone said.
All participants, whether registered or walk-in, are urged to bring any relevant tax documents or correspondence with them, he said.
So far, 18 people have made appointments to receive help at this years event, Boone said. Last year, there were 18 appointments and 15 walk-ins, he said.
The IRS initiated Problem-Solving Day in 1997, after Senate Finance Committee hearings revealed the IRS had unnecessarily allowed taxpayers problems to stretch on for months and years in some situations.
"The commissioner (IRS Commissioner Charles Risotti) initiated Problem-Solving Day at that time to make sure that if anybody did have a problem that was dragging on, they would have the chance to have it immediately addressed," Boone said.
Taxpayers with unresolved problems who are unable to attend Problem-Solving Day can still receive help by calling the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Hotline toll free at (877) 777-4778 to request special handling of an ongoing tax problem by Problem Resolution Program staff.
The PRP staff is the IRSs primary source of help for taxpayers with problems that have not been resolved through normal IRS channels.
To schedule an appointment for todays help session, contact the Nashville IRS office at (615) 250-5423, or call the IRSs toll-free hotline at (800) 829-1040.
Taxpayers without ongoing problems also may call the hotline for assistance in preparing their tax forms.
The IRS has a number of satellite sites, many at local libraries, churches and community centers, staffed by IRS staff and volunteers to help area residents figure out their tax forms, Boone said.
"Just call the toll-free number and ask for the site nearest you," he said.