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
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
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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