The federal and state governments and U.S. Postal Service are offering last-minute help for taxpayers facing tonight's midnight deadline for filing 1990 income tax returns.
The state comptroller's office and Internal Revenue Service are jointly providing "one-stop shopping" for help with tax forms today, with state officials at the Fallon Federal Building at Hopkins Plaza from 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., and IRS personnel on duty at the State Office Building at 301 W. Preston St. from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The IRS is offering free telephone tax assistance from 8 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. today:
(301) 962-2590 in Baltimore
(800) 829-1040 toll-free
TTY/TDD telephone service for the hearing-impaired is available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:
The IRS also has 24-hour recorded information for people using touch-tone telephones (8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. for rotary equipment). The numbers are:
(301) 466-1040 in Baltimore
(800) 829-4477 toll-free
Walk-in service is available in the District of Columbia and at 10 IRS tax offices across Maryland today from 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. They are at:
Fallon Federal Building
West Woods Business Park
190 Admiral Cochrane Drive
Braddock Square Mall
Winchester and Vocke roads
One Mill Place
1 Brown Court
Monocacy Shopping Center
922 East St.
201 S. Cleveland Ave.
Metro-Plex 1, Room 300
8401 Corporate Drive
129 E. Main St.
Wheaton Plaza Shopping Center
District of Columbia
500 N. Capitol St. N.W.
The Maryland comptroller's office is offering free telephone tax assistance from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. The numbers are:
(301) 225-1995 in Baltimore
(800) MD TAXES toll-free
State income tax offices will be open for telephone and walk-in service from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Locations and numbers are listed in the Maryland income tax packet and in local telephone directories.
AT THE POST OFFICE
Last-minute help for federal and state income taxes will be offered today from 6 p.m. to midnight at the main Baltimore Post Office at 900 E. Fayette St. -- the only Postal Service facility in the Baltimore area where the required April 15 postmark will be available at the witching hour.
The midnight postmark also will be available in Montgomery County at sites including the Bethesda, Silver Spring and Rockville main post offices; in Prince George's at the Laurel Post Office on Main Street and the Hampton Park Stations on Edgeworth Drive in Capitol Heights; and in Charles County at the Waldorf Post Office.
* A Postal Service mobile van will be in operation at Security Square Mall from 6 to 10 p.m.
* Window service hours will be extended to 10:30 p.m. at the Eudowood branch, 1238 Putty Hill Ave., and the Halethorpe branch, 6 Waelchli Ave.
* Tax returns will receive the April 15 postmark if they are placed in collection boxes by 11 p.m. at Eudowood or Halethorpe, at collection boxes in front of all stations and branches in the 212 Zip Code area, and at these post offices:
Annapolis; Bel Air; Cockeysville; Columbia; Cumberland; Elkton; Ellicott City; Frederick; Glen Burnie; Hagerstown; Lutherville-Timonium; Owings Mills.
GETTING AN EXTENSION
If all else fails, taxpayers may request an extension for filing by sending Form 4868 to the IRS or Maryland Form 502E to the comptroller's Income Tax Division. But there's a catch or two:
Taxpayers must make a reasonable estimate of any tax liability and pay any balance due, and face interest and possible penalties on late payments. And forms requesting an extension of the filing deadline must be postmarked by midnight.
Military personnel involved in Operation Desert Storm are eligible for a filing extension of six months or more. No special form or tax payment is necessary at this time. For information, contact tax offices.