IRS Expands Hurricane Irene Relief

On Friday, the IRS expanded its Hurricane Irene relief to include four counties in Vermont, after the president declared those counties federal disaster areas (VT-2011-34). The tax relief announced is similar to that already published for parts of North Carolina, New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. (For details of the prior relief, see “Taxpayers Hit by Irene Get Postponement.”)


The four affected Vermont counties are Chittenden, Rutland, Washington and Windsor. The relief postpones tax deadlines falling on or after Aug. 29 and before Oct. 31 for taxpayers who reside or have a business in those counties. These deadlines include the Sept. 15 due date for certain business returns on extension and the Oct. 17 due date for individual returns on extension. The deadlines are postponed to Oct. 31.


For affected Vermont taxpayers, the IRS is waiving the failure-to-deposit penalties for employment and excise tax deposits due on or after Aug. 29 and on or before Sept. 13, as long as the deposits are made by Sept. 13. Similar waivers have been granted to taxpayers in the other affected areas.


Return Preparers


The IRS also announced relief for taxpayers whose return preparers were affected by Hurricane Irene (IR-2011-88). The Sept. 15 tax return due date is extended to Sept. 22 for taxpayers whose return preparer is located in an area that was under an evacuation order or a severe weather warning because of Hurricane Irene. This encompasses a larger area than the federally declared disaster areas. The relief applies to taxpayers no matter where they are located.


The Sept. 15 deadline applies primarily to 2010 corporate, partnership and trust returns on extension. The relief applies to the filing deadline; the tax payment requirements are not postponed.


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