Help in completing your tax returns is available free-of-charge if you call various taxpayer assistance services in local jurisdictions.

An IRS representative will answer your questions in the District and Maryland suburbs at 488-3100, and in Northern Virginia at 557-9230.

To get assistance if you live in outlying suburbs, call the IRS toll-free at 1-800-424-1040.

If you need tax forms, call toll-free 1-800-424-FORM.

The IRS also sponsors the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE), which provide free help for the elderly, individuals with special needs, lower-income and non-English speaking taxpayers.

You can call the IRS to find out the location of the VITA or TCE office nearest you.

In addition, you can call for prerecorded messages on federal tax-related topics. This service, called Tele-Tax, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on push-button phones and weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. on rotary phones.

In the District and Maryland suburbs, phone 628-2929 (push-button and rotary).

In outlying Maryland suburbs, call 1-800-554-4477 (toll-free).

In Northern Virginia, dial 703-557-0034 (push-button only) or 1-800-554-4477 (both).

When you dial one of these numbers, you will receive instructions on the use of Tele-Tax.

If you have a push-button phone, you will be instructed to punch in a code to select the three-digit code of the topic you want to hear about.

If you have a rotary phone, ask the IRS operator for the topic. A list of topics is in your tax package.

Additionally, beginning March 15, taxpayers who have filed for a refund and waited at least 10 weeks without receiving it can telephone the IRS to learn the status of their return.

In the District and Maryland suburbs, call 628-2929, and in Northern Virginia, phone 703-557-0034.

For information or assistance about filing your state or local income tax returns, Call 727-6103 in the District; 534-5791 in Northern Virginia; and 949-6030 in the Maryland suburbs.