So, have you filed yet? The Internal Revenue Service received and processed about 1.5 million individual tax returns from San Diego County taxpayers last year. Even though the word “Service” is in our last name, sometimes people overlook the help available from the IRS. The IRS offers several ways to obtain free tax return preparation, a world-class website that’s easy to use and navigate 24/7, and 400 offices around the country to get face-to face help. Two such offices here in San Diego are located downtown at 880 Front Street and in San Marcos (at the San Marcos Civic Center) and both stand ready to help five days a week.

Here in San Diego, there are more than 80 volunteer income tax assistance sites up and running through April 15. These sites provide free tax return preparation for lower income individuals and families, seniors and those who speak English as a second language. The IRS website offers a program called “Free-File” that allows those with incomes (AGI) less than $56,000 to file a federal tax return for free. Plus, we have a new program called “Fillable Forms” that will allow virtually anybody to file for free regardless of income level. If face-to-face assistance is needed for anything related to filing a return, the downtown and San Marcos offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. IRS will also provide extra hours as April 15 approaches including “Super Saturday,” on March 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

We are particularly available to help taxpayers this year who face financial hardship as a result of the economic downturn. Among other things, some folks are facing payment issues for the first time. The best place to start is the IRS Web site and 1040 Central where you will find links to most of the things you might need to get your tax return in to the IRS. We are ready to be at your service when you need us.


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