Gift to Hurricane Victims from the IRS

The IRS is giving tax breaks to those devastated by Hurricane Katrina: extra time to file tax documents.

Everyone looks at a situation with their own unique perspective.

With various federal agencies mobilizing to quickly move in to help people whose lives have been devastated by Hurricane Katrina, one may not think of a role to be played by the Internal Revenue Service. For those who spend their working days working within the federal tax system, one would expect them to approach the disaster along the Gulf Coast with their own perspective and, no doubt, they want to do what they can to help.

The result is a press release from the IRS granting special relief for taxpayers in the Presidential Disaster Areas struck by Hurricane Katrina.

For those people sitting on the roofs of their houses or waiting around the Superdome to be sent to a nearby refugee camp or searching for missing friends and relatives, here is some good news. You can delay until October 31 your tax payment due on September 15, 2005.

According to the IRS, “[T]hese taxpayers generally will have until Oct. 31, 2005, to file tax returns and submit tax payments. The IRS will abate interest and any late filing or late payment penalties that would otherwise apply. This relief includes the Sept. 15 due date for estimated taxes and for calendar-year corporate returns with automatic extensions.”

“People affected by Hurricane Katrina have more than enough concerns –– taxes shouldn’t be among them,” said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. “We hope the relief we are providing will help taxpayers in their financial recovery from this devastating storm.”

And there is also some tax relief for businesses according to the IRS.

The Federal Tax Deposit (FTD) Penalty Waiver Period for employment and excise tax deposits is Aug. 29 – Sept. 23, 2005.

The Extension Period for returns and other tax payments is Aug. 29 – Oct. 31, 2005.

For those whose businesses are still being looted or under water in Mississippi or New Orleans, this extension period may not be of much help but your tax advisor can help with special deductions that may be available.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47