Sept. 8, 2005
Katrina Victims Will Have
The information in this release has been updated.
Until Jan. 3 to File and Pay Taxes
Please see News Release IR-2005-112, issued Sept. 28.
WASHINGTON - Victims of Hurricane Katrina will have until Jan. 3, 2006 to file any returns, pay any taxes or make any deposits due, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.
This extends and expands relief granted previously by the IRS and is available in all the counties and parishes listed in IRS news release IR-2005-91. It applies to any return, tax payment or tax deposit with an original or extended due date that fell on or after Aug. 29, 2005. For Florida residents, the effective date begins Aug. 24, 2005.
The IRS will abate interest and any late filing, late payment or failure to deposit 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; the Oct. 17 deadline for individuals who received a second extension for filing their individual income tax returns; and the Oct. 31 deadline for filing quarterly federal employment and excise tax returns.
To the maximum extent possible, the IRS will automatically grant this relief to any individual or business located in the disaster area. Any disaster area taxpayer who receives a penalty notice from the IRS should call the toll-free number on the notice to receive penalty abatement. In addition, the IRS will work with any taxpayer who resides elsewhere but whose books, records or tax professional are located in the relief area.
In the aftermath of this natural disaster, the IRS assures individuals, businesses and tax professionals that it is working aggressively to monitor the situation and resolve other potential tax administration issues as they are identified.
More information regarding disaster relief, including IR-2005-91, is available on the IRS Web site, IRS.gov. People with questions can also call the IRS toll-free disaster hotline at 1-866-562-5227.
IRS COMMISSIONER MARK W. EVERSON
TREASURY PRESS CONFERENCE ON HURRICANE TAX RELIEF
Sept. 8, 2005
Like all Americans, the IRS wants to do whatever it can to help people recover from this tragedy as quickly as possible.
Last week, we made an initial decision to extend tax deadlines for affected areas in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and three counties in Florida until Oct. 31. At the time, we said we would review the duration of this extension as circumstances developed. Today, we are announcing that we are further extending key tax filing and payment deadlines until the end of the year. This rolls over to the first business day of the new year, which is Jan. 3.
This relief includes the Sept. 15 due date for estimated taxes and for calendar-year corporate returns with automatic extensions. It includes the Oct. 17 deadline for individuals who received a second extension for filing their individual income tax returns. And it includes the Oct. 31 deadline for filing quarterly federal employment and excise tax returns. We’ll waive interest and late filing and payment penalties during this period.
In addition, we’re announcing later today that we’re extending tax deadlines for tax-exempt bonds.
We will continue to watch developments involving the affected areas, and we’ll provide additional relief as circumstances warrant.
The second point I want to make is to amplify what the Secretary said. We want to encourage employers and taxpayers to take advantage of the new leave donation program. We will allow employees to donate their vacation or sick leave in exchange for their employer sending cash payments to charitable groups helping Katrina victims. To put it simply, workers can turn their unused vacation or sick leave into cash to help the hurricane victims.
About two-thirds of Americans take the standard tax deduction. For these non-itemizers, taxpayers get the tax benefit of a charitable deduction, which they don’t normally get when they don’t itemize. It’s a good thing for taxpayers.
This program will extend through the end of 2006. So people can have a chance to donate even if they’ve used their vacation time this year.
We urge workers and employers to look into this option.
Finally, I want to assure taxpayers that we are closely monitoring events, and we will move quickly to address any emerging issues. We will do everything we can to help taxpayers, business and tax professionals while ensuring the smooth continuity of our nation’s tax system.
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