WASHINGTON D.C. ― Today, U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich sent a letter to the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to express concerns about reduced office hours and cuts to services, particularly for rural and elderly New Mexicans.
The letter follows numerous complaints from residents of Fort Sumner, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque, including reports that the Albuquerque IRS field office is closing as early as 10 a.m. and turning away taxpayers who may have traveled hundreds of miles for assistance. As New Mexicans work to file their tax returns before the April 18 deadline, Udall and Heinrich urged the IRS to expand its services and ensure taxpayers across the state can access paper forms and other assistance.
“We are concerned that our constituents are being turned away without justification or adequate alternatives,” Udall and Heinrich wrote in the letter. “There must be substitutes in place to help individuals who are unable to access local offices during normal business hours. We support alternatives like Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Centers and Tax Counseling for the Elderly, but these programs are not substitutes for access to IRS offices.”
Udall and Heinrich urged IRS field offices to offer appointments in both English and Spanish, and to consider other ways the agency can prevent taxpayers from being turned away at the door.
“IRS must do everything in its authority to ensure that taxpayers in our state and across the country have the resources they need,” the senators continued. “We look forward to working with you to ensure that New Mexicans have access to the assistance, information, and forms for the upcoming tax filing season.”