IRS extends tax relief for storm victims


Businesses and individuals in New Jersey and New York affected by Hurricane Sandy have been afforded tax relief by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the form of extended deadlines related to storm damage.

The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting in late October after the superstorm unleashed its fury on the two states. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until April 1, 2013, to file these returns and pay any taxes due, according to the IRS.

"This includes the fourth quarter individual estimated tax payment, normally due Jan. 15, 2013. It also includes payroll and excise tax returns and accompanying payments for the third and fourth quarters, normally due on Oct. 31, 2012 and Jan. 31, 2013 respectively, and calendar year corporate income tax returns due March 15," an IRS statement said. "It also applies to tax-exempt organizations required to file Form 990 series returns with an original or extended deadline falling during this period."

The IRS said it would abate any interest, late-payment or late-filing penalty that would otherwise apply. The IRS automatically provides this relief to any taxpayer located in the disaster area (Monmouth and Ocean counties in New Jersey, and Nassau, Queens, Richmond and Suffolk counties in New York). Taxpayers need not contact the IRS to get this relief.

Beyond the relief provided by law to taxpayers in the counties designated by FEMA as disaster areas, the IRS will work with any taxpayer who resides outside the disaster area but whose books, records or tax professional are located in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. All workers assisting the relief activities in the covered disaster areas who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization are eligible for relief, the agency said. Taxpayers who live outside of the impacted area and think they may qualify for this relief should contact the IRS at 866-562-5227.

The IRS also announced today that Taxpayer Assistance Centers in several New York and New Jersey locations will be open additional hours to provide help to taxpayers impacted by Hurricane Sandy. There will also be special assistance available at several New Jersey and New York locations on Feb. 23 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. ET. More information will be available on irs.gov.

An IRS video for disaster victims is available here.

Photo attributed to Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen/U.S. Air Force/New Jersey National Guard via Creative Commons license.