What about Tax Relief in Disaster Situations

The southeast and midwest portions of the country are commonly plagued with bad weather this time of year. But this year has proven to be especially bad, with large tornado outbreaks and major flooding affecting many parts of the country.

When disaster strikes like this, it can take weeks or months before things return to normal. Filing taxes is the last thing on anyone’s mind. The IRS certainly understands that there will be delays in tax filings and payments by those affected by the storms and floods, and they provide for extensions of time when those filings and payments are due. They have put together a section of their website which highlights some of the latest information on tax relief for disaster victims.

Here are some of the highlights from the affected areas:

Joplin, Missouri – Due to the devastating effects of the May 22, 2011 tornado outbreak in the area, both individual and business taxpayers throughout Jasper County, Missouri do not have to file returns or pay taxes due until August 1, 2011. This applies to any payments or filings that were due since April 19, 2011. For those who pay estimated taxes, this means you will not have to pay them on June 15, 2011. You can wait till August 1st. See more information at Joplin area disaster tax relief.

Alabama – An unbelievable forty-two counties in Alabama were declared a federal disaster area in April and May of 2011. Since the bad storms started on April 15th in the area, taxpayers in the affected counties get tax relief from the federal individual deadline, which was on April 18th this year. Taxpayers in the affected areas have until June 30, 2011 to complete their federal tax return, payment, and 2010 contribution to their IRAs. In addition, casualty losses due to the disaster can be taken on either their 2010 or 2011 returns. See more information at Alabama disaster tax relief.

Other states affected by storms and listed on the IRS site include: Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, and North Carolina. Several counties in each of these states have been declared federal disaster areas and thus, individuals and businesses who reside there, or who have tax forms there, are allowed to delay their filings and payments. The times and types of delays that taxpayers are eligible for will vary by incident. When in doubt, contact the IRS to see if you are eligible for tax relief due to a disaster in your area.

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