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IRS Extends Tax Deadlines For Katrina Victims
Following Katrina, the IRS acted quickly to relieve victims of any tax burdens. One step was to extend any tax filing dates to late October and now those dates have been extended again.
On September 23, 2005, President Bush signed the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005 into law with massive bipartisan support. The Act contains numerous provisions with one of the most important being the extension of tax filing deadlines. Specifically, victims of Hurricane Katrina have been granted an automatic extension until February 28, 2006. The extension covers the filing of taxes, paying of taxes and other related tax items
To benefit from the Tax Relief Act, hurricane victims need to take the following steps. For victims located in areas designated as “individual assistance areas” by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) the tax relief is automatic and no action is required to be taken. Of course, you need to make sure FEMA has actually gotten around to visiting your area.
If FEMA has designated your area a “public assistance” area, you are actually going to have to contact the IRS to claim relief under the Act. To do this, you must simply write “Hurricane Katrina” in red ink on the top of any tax filings with the IRS. If you’re not sure what to do, you can contact the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227.
Obviously, taxes and the IRS are and should be low priority items for victims of Hurricane Katrina. The IRS, however, should be commended for taking immediate action to grant tax relief instead of staggering around like a drunken sailor as we observed with FEMA.
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