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The IRS Opens Its Doors

Free advice for help with your tax questions.

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The Internal Revenue Service is well known — and oft-disparaged — for insinuating itself into people's lives. But occasionally, it insinuates in a benevolent way. On June 5, for example, Bay Area IRS offices will hold a special open house to help individuals and small business owners resolve their tax problems. It's an opportunity for folks to negotiate payment options, settle disputes, create compromise, find out what an "audit" is, or even complete their outstanding 2009 forms, with minimal grief. And it's just one in a series of steps the IRS has taken to be more accessible and personable. To keep in step with the times, the IRS recently created its own video channel on YouTube, through which it provides information on vehicle deductions, homebuyer credits, philanthropy, education credits, and retirement plans. For those who remain flummoxed by their tax forms, help is available 24/7. Open House runs Sat., June 5, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at five Bay Area Taxpayer Assistance Centers, including the ones in Oakland (1301 Clay St.) and Walnut Creek (185 Lennon Ln.). 1-800-829-1040

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