Rose Calls on IRS to Set Up Taxpayer Assistance Center on Staten Island to Assist with COVID Relief Tax Implications

Press Release

By: Max Rose
By: Max Rose
Date: Sept. 24, 2020
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Taxes

In light of extensive COVID-19 financial changes implemented this year that will make tax filing more complex for families and businesses, Congressman Max Rose is urging the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to set up a Taxpayer Assistance Center on Staten Island in time for next year's tax season. Staten Island is currently the only borough in New York City without a brick and mortar Taxpayer Assistance Center.

"It's a shame that for years now, my constituents have had to pay a penalty for not wanting to travel for hours into Brooklyn or Manhattan to get in-person help with their taxes," Rose said. "But now that the COVID relief measures have made next year's tax filing much more complex for most families and small businesses, having our own Taxpayer Assistance is not just a matter of convenience. It's absolutely necessary."

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Congress and the Trump Administration implemented a series of changes that will impact taxpayers filings for next year. The IRS ensured that those who took their required minimum distribution (RMD) from qualifying retirement savings plans in January 2020 were granted flexibility, in addition to the 60-day rollover period Congress passed in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Coronavirus relief legislation will also allow taxpayers to reduce their income via charitable contributions, and many Staten Islanders may be eligible to receive a tax credit next year based on their Economic Impact Payments and new adjusted gross incomes. Small businesses will also likely need help navigating forthcoming guidance from the Small Business Administration on Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advances, along with unforgiven Paycheck Protection Program funds, and a local TAC can stand to assist.

In June of 2013, the IRS permanently closed its TAC in St. George as part of the agency's rent reduction efforts, leaving no full-service office option on the entire island and forcing TACs in Downtown Brooklyn or Lower Manhattan to handle the overflow from Staten Island taxpayers. The IRS also lists a "Virtual Assistance" option for Staten Islanders on its website, but that option is currently closed.

"Due to the extensive financial changes implemented this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers, or TACs, will be incredibly vital for my constituents in New York's 11th Congressional District in the coming months, particularly for low-income constituents unable to access paid tax assistance," Rose wrote in a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig. "Compounding those concerns with the large number of Staten Island taxpayers eligible to receive a tax credit based on their Economic Impact Payments and new adjusted gross incomes, the case for a TAC is no longer optional, but is absolutely necessary."

Since taking office, Rose and his staff have helped return more than $100,000 in funds the IRS owed to his constituents, as well as more than $16 million in coronavirus relief funds. Earlier this month, Rose continued his efforts to help his constituents navigate the federal bureaucracy when he called on the Social Security Administration to open Hearing Offices on Staten Island and in South Brooklyn--the only two boroughs in New York City to not have Hearing Offices.