Who says the Internal Revenue Service isn't a compassionate organization?

The much-maligned agency has announced it will suspend tax-collection actions against U.S. citizens held hostage in Iraq and Kuwait.To implement the policy, the IRS needs to hear from family members of hostages.

Family members of detained citizens should call 1-800-829-4351 as soon as possible so IRS representatives can take steps to suspend actions already scheduled or under way. The IRS said that it has no way of knowing for certain the identity of the hostages but that once notified, it can provide needed relief.

Callers should be prepared to provide IRS with the names and Social Security numbers of detained citizens along with any information they may have of ongoing actions with the IRS.

IRS advises the families of military personnel assigned to Operation Desert Shield to use the regular federal tax assistance number for information they need: 1-800-829-1040.