IRS Tax Relief Issued in Oklahoma Tornado Zone

Are you going to miss an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) deadline? You better have a good excuse! The IRS with all its fails is usually pretty good about recognizing a legitimate excuse for missing tax deadlines, so long as it applies to the masses. The two-mile wide tornado that caused so much carnage throughout Oklahoma on Monday, has been officially recognized as worthy for tax relief by the IRS.

After being officially declared as a disaster zone by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the IRS 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.

Unlike the tax relief issued after the Boston Marathon Bombing which occurred on Tax Day (the deadline to file personal federal tax returns) the IRS deadlines to be missed are less common; but common nonetheless. Beginning on May 18, 2013, affected individuals and businesses will have until Sept. 30, 2013 to file any returns and pay any taxes due. This includes the June 17 and Sept. 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 Sept. 3 deadline for truckers filing Form 2290 highway use tax returns. The IRS will abate any interest, late-payment or late-filing penalty that would otherwise apply.

Individuals and businesses who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can claim those losses on either last year’s tax return or this year’s 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.

The Tornado Tax Relief will be automatically provided to any taxpayer located in the disaster area. However, taxpayers who live outside the disaster area but whose books, records or tax professional are located in the affected areas will need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227 to obtain tax relief.

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