IRS deadline eased for flood victims

Globe Staff / April 1, 2010

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Victims of severe storms and flooding in Massachusetts may qualify for one form of tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service: some IRS deadlines in some counties have been moved back to May 11, including the April 15 deadline for filing 2009 individual income tax returns.

President Obama has declared the Massachusetts counties of Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester as federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance.

Taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area qualify for the May 11 deadlines in many cases, the IRS said.

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue will also extend state tax deadlines from April 15 until May 11 for residents and businesses in the affected counties, a department spokesman said. The extension does not apply to residents and businesses in other parts of the state.

The IRS said its computer systems automatically identify taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and apply automatic filing and payment relief.

Taxpayers in the disaster area who have not been severely affected by the storm are encouraged to file by the traditional IRS deadlines.

But taxpayers in these areas do not have to take any action to be eligible for the extended deadlines, an IRS spokeswoman said.

Taxpayers in the affected areas will not be penalized for missing the traditional April 15 deadline so long as they file on or before May 11, the IRS said.

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