Taxpayers affected by the oil spill can call a special IRS phone number for questions about BP payments or if they have problems filing taxes.
The Internal Revenue Service announced Friday that Gulf oil spill victims can call 866-562-5227 on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. local time.
Last month, the IRS said payments for lost wages from BP's $20 billion victims compensation fund are taxable just like regular income.
But, in certain cases, the IRS can help oil spill victims by suspending tax collections and suspending audits. Those who need this kind of help must request it, the IRS said, and interest will continue to accrue on outstanding tax balances even if some penalties are waived.
The agency has posted tax information for oil spill victims on its website and plans to hold forums in seven Gulf Coast cities on July 17 to help victims with tax troubles or questions. The forums will be held in Mobile, Ala.; Panama City, Fla.; Pensacola, Fla.; New Orleans; Houma, La.; Baton Rouge, La.; and Gulfport, Miss.
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