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Long lines after IRS tax center in southwest Houston abruptly closes

A scheduled walk-in service at the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in southwest Houston didn’t go as planned on Saturday.

Hundreds of people stood in line outside the center on South Gessner, hoping to get help with their taxes before Monday’s filing deadline.

Instead, the center closed early, and people were left to wait outside.

“We see people coming and leaving and beating on the door and acting like a fool,” Jessica Hall said.

Hall said she took three buses to get to the walk-in service in order to get some of her past tax filings.

She says she needs them ahead of her Sunday appointment with a tax preparer.

“Now we have to see what we got to tell them for not having our transcripts,” Hall said.

One man said he had been waiting outside since 3 a.m. but was still turned away.

Others said they had driven from Conroe and Galveston.

“All this stuff going on, they should have posted something so people would know so they won’t have to be driving so far,” Lacricia Ragston said.

In a statement, the IRS said the delays were caused by an increased demand for assistance.

“The IRS has surged resources to expand in-person service, opening or reopening more than 50 new walk-in centers over the past two years and ensuring they are fulling staffed. The IRS has added more than 11,000 additional hours of availability this Filing Season, making this the most hours of in-person service the agency has provided in our history. Delays on Saturday occurred due to overwhelming taxpayer demand for assistance, and the IRS is committed to serving those who weren’t able to receive in person help. For people we couldn’t serve in person, we are collecting names and numbers when possible so an IRS representative can call them back. To further assist taxpayers in the Houston area, we will be taking special steps to help on Monday and throughout the week. We will be working to fully staff our offices next week and adding more people to help on our phone lines. We also remind taxpayers there are many ways to get help from the IRS. We encourage taxpayers needing assistance to schedule an appointment by calling (844) 545-5640. Many issues can be resolved over the phone to help people avoid a trip to an IRS office. Taxpayers can also get an automatic extension to file until Oct. 15 by visiting IRS.gov.”

This story comes from our news partner ABC13 Houston.