Disaster victims get tax-time relief

Tax Tips

If disaster strikes where you live, filing your taxes on time is probably the least of your concerns.

That’s why the IRS tries to ease the burden of disaster victims by routinely giving them extra time to file tax documents.

In recent weeks, the IRS has announced tax-filing extensions for residents of regions hit by three storms and declared presidential disaster areas: parts of Florida where Tropical Storm Fay struck, parts of Louisiana that were battered by Hurricane Gustav and sections of the Gulf Coast where Hurricane Ike landed.

The type of relief and the length of extended deadlines vary by disaster. Residents who need information about a particular disaster should read the IRS article, Tax Relief in Disaster Situations, which offers detailed information about each.

In the case of Fay, residents have until Nov. 17 to file taxes and make payments that would otherwise by due between Aug. 18 and Nov. 17, 2008. This includes individuals who had requested an extension and had planned to file their 2007 tax returns by Oct. 15, 2008.

Victims of the more recent Hurricane Gustav have until Jan. 5 to meet tax deadlines normally occurring between Sept. 1 and Jan. 5, 2009. These include:

• Individual estimated tax payments due Sept. 15, 2008

• Individual extended 1040 tax returns due Oct. 15, 2008

• Corporate extended 1120 tax returns due Sept. 15, 2008

Taxpayers and tax preparers affected by Hurricane Ike have been given an extra seven days, until Sept. 22, to file corporate tax returns and third-quarter estimated taxes otherwise due on Monday, Sept. 15, 2008. Other tax extensions could be announced later.

Some residents who have lost or damaged property and are uninsured or underinsured could qualify for a tax break.

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