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Senator: Move Tax Aid Pgm. Closer to the Storm Zones

Say IRS Centers Too Far From Victims

Sen. Charles E. Schumer called on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide additional Hurricane Sandy-services for taxpayers in areas that were seriously impacted by the storm.

In response to questions about tax treatment of Sandy payments or losses, the IRS has created special assistance hours and a Saturday Open House to taxpayers (which was held on Feb. 23). The locations for these services are currently in neighborhoods that were not necessarily impacted by the storm.

Schumer urged the IRS to provide these Sandy-services to taxpayers living in neighborhoods including, but not limited to, the Rockaways, Gerritsen Beach, Coney Island, the north shore of Staten Island, Island Park, Massapequa, Mastic Beach and Lindenhurst so that the residents who were impacted by the storm can easily commute to the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers.

“Home and business owners impacted by Sandy can get some relief through the tax code, but far too few actually know how,” said Schumer. “The IRS has the right idea in providing these services at their taxpayer assistance centers, but these services should be located in the hardest hit neighborhoods to maximize the ben- efit.”

Many New Yorkers are eligible for tax deductions based on their itemized losses due to Hurricane Sandy. In order to help affected residents better understand this process, the IRS has extended hours and added a Saturday Open House at their Taxpayer Assistance Centers.

Services provided include assistance with IRS notices, tax debt, tax liens help with current year tax return preparation, and more.

Individuals will have the opportunity to work directly with IRS personnel and ask questions about the tax treatment of Sandy payments or losses.

The senator commended the IRS for making these services available, however, noted that many individuals are still feeling the hardships incurred by the storm and cannot easily commute a far distance to access these taxpayer services. Schumer explained that on Long Island, there is currently only one center available and it could take an individual from Suffolk County hours to access that site.

He made the case there should be more centers and these centers should be in areas seriously impacted by the storm.

As previously reported, the IRS is offereing extended hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. at their Brooklyn office located at 2 MetroTech Center, 100 Myrtle Ave., in downtown Brooklyn; and their Queens office at 59-17 Junction Blvd. in Rego Park.

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