By Vicki Needham - 07/09/10 04:15 PM EDT
The Internal Revenue Service has created a dedicated telephone line for taxpayers affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Individuals who have questions about damage claims payments made by BP or who are experiencing filing or payment hardships because of the oil spill should contact the IRS at 866-562-5227, the agency announced Friday.
The phone line will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time Monday through Friday.
The IRS can assist oil spill victims by suspending collection and examination actions and by providing flexibility for missed payments for those who have previously paid on time, the agency said in a release.
The agency also can offer compromises based on the taxpayer’s current income and potential for future income.
Taxpayers who need this assistance must request it, the agency stated.
On July 17, the IRS will meet with taxpayers who need special assistance in Mobile, Ala.; Panama City and Pensacola, Fla.; New Orleans, Houma and Baton Rouge, La.; and Gulfport, Miss.
Times and locations will be announced soon.