IRS offers help day, phone line for oil spill victims

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service will open Taxpayer Assistance Centers in seven Gulf Coast cities, only one of which is in Alabama. Those affected can meet with officials in Mobile this Saturday, July 17 to get taxpayer help if they've been impacted by the BP oil spill.

The following IRS offices will be open July 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1110 Montlimar Drive, Mobile, Ala.

State tax representatives will also be on hand to answer questions.

Individuals who have questions about the tax treatment of BP claims payments or who are experiencing filing or payment hardships because of the oil spill will be able to work directly with IRS personnel at any of these locations on Saturday.

Last week, the IRS announced the opening of a dedicated phone line for victims of the Gulf oil spill –– 1-866-562-5227. This special toll-free line is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and will also be open to callers on Saturday, July 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Central Time.

In certain cases, IRS staff can assist oil spill victims by suspending collection and examination actions. 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.

In addition to postponing collection actions, the IRS continues to have a number of other ways to help taxpayers deal with oil spill issues or other economic hardships, including:

  • Added flexibility for missed payments on installment agreements and offers in compromise for previously compliant individuals.
  • Consideration of a taxpayer's current income and potential for future income when negotiating an offer in compromise.
  • Accelerated levy releases.
  • Assistance of the Taxpayer Advocate Service for those experiencing economic harm and seeking help resolving tax problems that have not been resolved through normal channels.

Related Information
For further information, including the tax treatment of BP compensation payments, see Questions & Answers about the Gulf oil spill on the IRS website,

Taxpayers are also encouraged to visit and, which have information on assistance for Gulf oil spill victims.