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City offers free help filling out tax forms

(Published January 10, 2000)

The D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue is offering to help D.C. taxpayers fill out their city income tax returns this year without charge.

Taxpayers are being asked to complete their federal income tax return prior to requesting this free service. The taxpayer’s federal tax return and all supporting tax documents must be brought to the Office of Tax and Revenue’s customer service center on the first floor at 941 North Capitol St. NE.

The service center is open from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.

It’s all part of what Natwar M. Gandhi, deputy chief financial officer for tax and revenue, calls the "taxpayer-friendly" attitude his office has adopted to encourage compliance with D.C. tax laws.

"Providing taxpayers with the information and services they need to meet their tax obligations is our number one priority," he said. He said his office "will do everything possible to assist taxpayers through the filing process.

D.C. tax forms for the 1999 tax year were mailed to taxpayers during the last week of December, a spokesman for the office said.

In addition to being available at D.C. public libraries and a handful of other government buildings, tax forms can now be downloaded from the chief financial officer’s Web site at www.dccfo.org. Taxpayers also may call (202) 727-4TAX to have formed mailed to them.

Among the many new features available this year to help make it easier to pay taxes, the city has begun accepting tax payments made with credit cards. The city will now accept Discover, MasterCard or American Express. Tax payments may be made with a credit card 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling toll-free 1-888-2PAY-TAX and entering 6000, the District’s jurisdiction code for processing. Taxpayers who choose to use a credit card to pay their taxes will be assessed an additional fee, based on a sliding scale.

Taxpayers also may file their taxes by using a touch-tone telephone this year if they meet certain criteria that qualify for the service.

The District will accept electronic tax filings this year from taxpayers who use one of four participating online filing services — Intuit, TaxSlayer, Tax and Accounting Software and H.D. Vest. A fee is required for these services.

Copyright 2000, The Common Denominator