Hurricane Sandy recently impacted the country, but the bulk of the damage was done in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. In times of tragedy, the last thing anyone wants to worry about or should have to worry about is taxes.
However, the IRS has strict deadlines, many of which are coming up in the beginning of the new year. The good news is the IRS is joining the Sandy relief effort, granting Sandy victims an extension on several tax filing deadlines.
The extension only applies to the areas specifically designated as disaster relief areas on the official FEMA site. Certain parts of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York have been named on the FEMA site.
The IRS is extending certain filings as well as certain payment obligations. Specifically, fourth quarter individual estimated payments which were previously due on January 15, 2013; payroll and excise tax returns which were previously due on October 31, 2012 (however deposits should have still been made by November 26, 2012), and January 31, 2013; and tax-exempt organization form 990s. The deadline for all of the aforementioned obligations are now extended. The IRS website has the specific deadlines for the specific tax obligations.
The extension is significant. If Sandy victims were unable to meet the deadlines to file or make payments to the IRS, severe consequences could result. Consequences include interest, additional late filing penalties, and late payment penalties.
For those in areas designated FEMA disaster areas, any interest or penalties will not attach.
For those New York residents who were affected by Sandy, are not in a designated disaster area, but believe they should receive tax filing extensions, contact a New York tax attorney immediately. Do not just take the chance of filing late because if your address is not within the named areas, the IRS will assess penalties. An attorney can contact the authorities, explain your situation and work to get the deadline extended for you.