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IRS Gives Tax Relief To Oklahoma Tornado Victims

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

28 May 2013


The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is providing tax relief to individuals and businesses affected by the tornado in Moore and Oklahoma City, and by other severe storms occurring in parts of Oklahoma.

Following the disaster declaration for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS has announced that affected taxpayers in Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties will receive special tax relief. Other locations may be added in coming days based on additional damage assessments by FEMA.

The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on May 18, 2013. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until September 30, 2013 to file these returns and pay any taxes due. This includes the June 17 and September 16 deadlines for making estimated tax payments.

A variety of business tax deadlines are also affected including the July 31 deadline for second quarter payroll and excise tax returns and the September 3 deadline for truckers filing highway use tax returns.

The IRS will abate any interest, late-payment or late-filing penalty that would otherwise apply. The agency automatically provides this relief to any taxpayer located in the disaster area, such that taxpayers need not contact the IRS to get it.

Beyond the relief provided to taxpayers in the FEMA-designated counties, the IRS will work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area but whose books, records or tax professional are located in the areas affected by these storms. All workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization also qualify for relief.

Individuals and businesses who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on either last year's or this year's tax return. Claiming these casualty loss deductions on either an original or amended 2012 return will get the taxpayer an earlier refund, but waiting to claim them on a 2013 return could result in greater tax savings depending upon other income factors.

In addition, the IRS is waiving failure-to-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due on or after May 18 and before June 3, if the deposits are made by June 3, 2013.

The tax relief is part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by these storms and is based on local damage assessments by FEMA. The IRS is actively monitoring the situation and will provide additional relief if needed.

TAGS: individuals | compliance | tax | business | tax compliance | law | corporation tax | payroll | excise duty | Internal Revenue Service (IRS) | tax authority | United States | penalties | individual income tax

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