Hawaii News | Kokua Line Kokua Line: When will IRS office in Honolulu reopen for in-person service? By Christine Donnelly email@example.com Aug. 30, 2022 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Question: Why is Honolulu’s IRS office closed to in-person service? This is ridiculous! When I finally got through to the IRS by phone they told me they couldn’t help me over the phone and to make an appointment at the office in Hilo! I live in Kaimuki! Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. Question: Why is Honolulu’s IRS office closed to in-person service? This is ridiculous! When I finally got through to the IRS by phone they told me they couldn’t help me over the phone and to make an appointment at the office in Hilo! I live in Kaimuki! Answer: A staffing shortage has closed the Honolulu Tax Assistance Center since late July, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The Oahu office is scheduled to reopen Sept. 19. The phone number to call for a future appointment is 844-545-5640. Hawaii’s only other federal TAC is in Hilo, according to the IRS website. You are one of numerous Kokua Line readers asking about this. We shared your concerns with the IRS spokesperson for the western region, who isn’t based in Hawaii. We emphasized that the vast majority of Hawaii’s population lives on Oahu and that visiting the Hilo office would require traveling to another island. His emailed response gave the reason for the Honolulu closure, the scheduled reopening date and phone and online alternatives to in-person visits. However, most readers Kokua Line has heard from have already tried to resolve their problems online or over the phone and have been unable to do so; it’s a frustrating situation for people who’ve been waiting many months for tax refunds, even after the IRS’ online tool indicates that their tax return has been processed. For those who have exhausted their online and telephone options, and can’t wait until Sept. 19, another potential resource is the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the IRS that’s supposed to ensure that taxpayers know their rights and are treated fairly. Check taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov to see whether this service might help, knowing that it’s also swamped and taking longer to respond than usual. For taxpayers who haven’t exhausted their online or telephone options, here are reminders about tracking down refunds from the IRS website, which says that taxpayers should call the IRS only if: >> It’s been 21 days or more since they e-filed. >> It’s been more than six months since they mailed a paper return. >> The “Where’s My Refund” tool (irs.gov/refunds) says more information is available over the phone. The number to call about individual tax returns is 800-829-1040. The number for business returns is 800-829-4933. The phone lines are supposed to be answered from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time, but numerous readers report trouble getting through. Q: Do you know what website to go on for the federal student loan forgiveness application? A: The application hasn’t been posted yet, but you can sign up at ed.gov/subscriptions to be notified when it is available, which is expected to be by early October. On the subscriptions page, select the first box, which says “federal student loan borrower updates.” Nearly 8 million borrowers may be eligible for automatic relief — without having to fill out an application — because their income data is already on file with the U.S. Department of Education. Read more at StudentAid.gov/debtrelief. Once the application is available, borrowers who need to fill it out should do so as soon as possible, to ensure that their debt is canceled or reduced before the pause on federal student loan payments expires at the end of this year. Q: Regarding the student loan relief, is that for Parent Plus loans too, or only for federal loans the student borrowed directly? A: Federal loans taken out by parents to pay for their children’s education, known as Parent Plus loans, are eligible for relief under this program, subject to income limits. Q: Will student loan cancellation count as income that I will have to pay taxes on later? A: No. This relief will not be treated as taxable income for federal income tax purposes, according to a White House fact sheet on the subject, which you can read at 808ne.ws/factsheet. Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-500, Honolulu, HI 96813; call 808-529-4773; or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous Story University of Hawaii study focuses on detecting mutations as a predictor of future COVID-19 variants Next Story Kokua Line: Is pandemic-related mortgage relief still available on Oahu?