As the April 15 income tax filing deadline radidly approaches, the IRS reports that approximately 45 percent of taxpayers in the Washington area have not yet filed returns. Help in completing federal tax returns is still available from a number of sources.

"The fastest and most convenient help for most people is right in the step-by-step tax packages we mailed to them," said IRS District Director Ted Kern. The IRS also has 90 other free publications that go into more detail on specific subjects. The publications are available at any IRS office.

Northern Virginia residents can get telephone assistance from the IRS by calling, toll free, 1-800-522-9500. The IRS says the best times to call are early in the morning or late in the afternoon, and late in the week. The lines are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Face-to-face assistance in filling out tax returns is available at the IRS office in the Skyline Office Building, 5205 Leesburg Pike, Bailey's Cross-roads, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. On April 15, the offfice will remain open until 7 p.m. for last-minute filers.

Returns will also be prepared for low-income, elderly and foreign-language taxpayers in their neighborhoods through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. Approximately 221 volunteer college, church, library and senior citizen groups in the Washington area have been trained to offer this service. Taxpayers should bring along their tax packages, W-2 forms, last year's tax return and any other information necessary to prepare tax return.

The following VITA centers in Northern Virginia offer federal and state tax preparation assistance through April 15 to low-income and elderly persons:

ALEXANDRIA -- Hopkins House, 1224 Princess St., Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Alexandria Social Service Center, 2419 Mt. Vernon Ave., Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 to 9 p.m. and saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Duke Street Baptist Church, 4345 Duke St., Tuessdays and Thursdays, 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

ARLINGTON -- Columbia Pike Library, 816 South Walter Reed Dr., Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Martin Luther King Center, 2411 Kenmore Ave., Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

FALLS CHURCH -- Woodrow Wilson Library, 6101 Knollwood Dr., Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

FAIRFAX -- Fairfax United Methodist Church, Stratford Avenue and University Drive, Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (primarily for elderly persons).

MANASSAS -- Northern Virginia Community College, 6901 Sudley Rd., Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 to 9 p.m.

McLean -- MClean Community Center, 1236 Englesdie Dr., Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon to 3 p.m. (primarily for persons 60 and older).

SPRINGFIELD -- Richard Byrd Library, 6400 Cumberland Ave., Fridays, 12:30 to 4 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon.

STERLING -- Northern Virginia Community College, Loudoudn Campus, Room 239, 1000 Harry F. Byrd Hwy., Mondays through Thursdays, 2 to 5 p.m.

VIENNA -- Bowman House, 122 Center St., Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (primarily for persons 60 and older).

WARRENTON -- People National Bank of Warrenton, Northern Virginia Shopping Center, 21 Main St., Monday, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

WOODBRIDGE -- Potomac Library, 2201 Opitz Blvd., Mondays and Wednesdays, 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The following VITA centers offer assistance for persons whose native language is other than English: ARLINGTON -- Assistance for Vietnamese and Indochinese persons is offered at the YMCA, 3422 N. 13th St., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Assistance for Spanish-speaking persons is available at the Holmes Building, 2100 North 14th St., Tuesdays from 7 to 9 p.m.