Hurricanes and the IRS

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Hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions wreaked havoc in many places this year. If you were affected, the IRS is offering some tax relief. Businesses and individuals in states that fall under the Presidential Disaster Area designation have additional time to file returns and pay certain federal taxes.

Here’s an overview.

Storms that qualify: Bonnie, Charley, Frances, Gaston, Ivan and Jeanne.

States that qualify: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Virginia.

Note: Check http://www.irs.gov/ for designated counties within those states, as well as updated information about storms and states added to the list.

Who’s included:

  • Individual taxpayers
  • Businesses whose tax records are located in the disaster area
  • Qualified relief workers

The details: Generally, businesses, including partnerships and S corporations, are granted an extension of time to file tax returns and pay taxes. The extension depends upon the severity of the disaster. An example: for Florida counties hit by Frances, the extended date is December 30, 2004.

Individuals are also granted extensions of time to file and pay, and may claim a casualty loss deduction on federal tax returns. Need your refund more quickly? You can revise your 2003 tax return to show the 2004 loss. IRS Publication 574, Casualties, Disasters and Debts, has more information.

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