March 26, 1991
Desert Storm Taxpayers Have Extra Time to File
Members of the Armed Forces and support personnel who served in
Operation Desert Storm have at least 180 days -- and in most cases
up to 285 days -- from the date they leave the combat zone to file
their 1990 federal income tax returns.
Although federal tax law allows these taxpayers to postpone
filing their tax returns for 180 days, the Internal Revenue Service
has determined that the 180-day postponement period is intended to
run consecutively, not concurrently, with the tax filing season.
This means that military and support personnel who were in the
designated Desert Storm area at any time from August 2, 1990,
through jan. 1, 1991, will not be required to file until 285 days
after they leave the combat zone. The postponement period in these
situations is made up of the 180 days provided by law and the 105
days of the tax filing season, January 1 to April 15.
IRS explained that military and support personnel who entered
the combat zone after January 1 may postpone filing their tax
returns for 180 days plus the number of days between the date they
entered th4 combat zone and April 15.
For example, a taxpayer who served in the combat zone from
January 20 through March 15 will have until Dec. 6, 1991, to file,
which is 266 days after they left the combat zone. This filing
postponement period equals the 180 days plus the 86 days from
January 20 to April 15.
Taxpayers still in the combat zone can postpone filing their
tax returns for as long as they are in the combat zone. Then, when
they leave the combat zone their additional time to file starts. For
example, a taxpayer who was in he combat zone on January 1 and
leaves April 20 will have 285 days from April 20 to file the tax
return. If this taxpayer had entered the combat zone on January 20,
the filing date would be 265 days from April 20.
If the combat zone designation is cancelled by executive order
before a taxpayer leaves the combat zone, the additional
postponement period starts when the designation is cancelled.
Guidance on postponing tax filing and other relief measures are
covered in the new IRS publication 945, "Tax Information for Those
Affected by Operation Desert Storm" that will be available.
IRS today offered guidance on some of the other issues covered
in Publication 945 -- retroactive interest on refunds, IRA
contributions for 1990 and interest free payments of 1990 tax
A tax refund issued by IRS after April 15 will include interest
from April 15 if the return is filed by the postponed deadline.
Taxpayers who owe additional payment with their tax returns
will not be charged interest or late payment penalty if they file by
the postponed deadline.
Because the filing date for taxpayers who served in Desert
Storm is postponed, IRA contributions for 1990 may be made up until
the date the taxpayer is required to file.
IRS also clarified today that there is not exclusion of
military pay received before January 1991 by persons in the combat
Taxpayers are reminded to write "Desert Storm" at the top of
their tax returns. This will alert IRS to those persons entitled to
these tax relief measures. Because tax collection and examination
actions are postponed, Operation Desert Storm military and support
personnel who receive correspondence from IRS on these matters
should mark "desert storm" at the top of the correspondence and
return it to IRS.
IRS said taxpayers who served in Operation Desert Storm or
their family members may call IRS at 1-800-829-1040 for tax
information or visit their local IRS office for help in preparing
tax returns, including electronic filing in those offices with that
The new IRS publication 945, covering Operation Desert Storm
tax issues, will be available in April by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM
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