The Internal Revenue Service stands ready to help individuals and businesses affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers in several Gulf Coast cities will be open Saturday July 17 to provide help to taxpayers dealing with tax issues as a result of the BP oil spill.

Here is what you need to know about the July 17 special assistance day.

1. The following IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers will be open on July 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time.

  • 1110 Montlimar Drive, Mobile, Ala.
  • 651-F West 14th St., Panama City, Fla.
  • 7180 9th Ave. North, Pensacola, Fla.
  • 2600 Citiplace Centre, Baton Rouge, La.
  • 423 Lafayette St., Houma, La.
  • 1555 Poydras Street, New Orleans, La.
  • 11309 Old Highway 49, Gulfport, Miss.

2. Taxpayers and tax preparers will be able to work directly with IRS employees to resolve tax issues.

3. Assistance will be available for individuals who are experiencing filing or payment hardships because of the oil spill or who have questions about the tax treatment of BP payments.

4. In certain cases, IRS staff can assist by suspending collection and examination actions; however, taxpayers who need this assistance must request it. Others may decide to continue making payments because interest will continue to accrue on outstanding balances, even if some penalties are abated.

5. The IRS opened a dedicated phone line for victims of the Gulf oil spill –– 866-562-5227. This special toll-free line is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and will also be open to callers on July 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Central Time.

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