Marathon Bombing Aftermath: IRS Extends Tax-Filing Deadline for Boston Residents

UPDATE: Boston-area taxpayers and others affected by the tragedy at the Boston Marathon earlier this week now have until July 15 to file their taxes or make payments.

According to details released by the IRS on April 16, the tax relief applies to all individual taxpayers who live in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, including the city of Boston. It also includes victims, their families, first responders, others impacted by the tragedy who live outside Suffolk County, and taxpayers whose tax preparers were adversely affected.
 
Two bombs exploded near the finish line at the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon, killing three people and injuring more than 170 others, according to published reports.
 
"Our hearts go out to the people affected by this tragic event," IRS acting commissioner Steven Miller says in a written statement. "We want victims and others affected by this terrible tragedy to have the time they need to finish their individual tax returns."
 
No filing or payment penalties will be due as long as taxpayers file their 2012 returns and pay any taxes that were due on April 15 by July 15. By law, interest, which is currently at the annual rate of 3 percent compounded daily, will still apply to any payments made after the normal April deadline.
 
In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) announced on April 16 it has extended the tax-filing deadline until at least April 23 for all state personal, business and corporate income tax returns, extensions, and tax payments. However, the DOR is expected to match the IRS announcement.
 
"We recognize that filing taxes is probably the last thing on the minds of taxpayers as they grieve for the victims of the bombings and struggle to make sense of the horrific violence," Amy Pitter, Massachusetts revenue commissioner, says in a written statement.
 
The IRS will automatically provide this extension to anyone living in Suffolk County. Eligible taxpayers living outside Suffolk County can claim this relief by calling (866) 562-5227 starting April 23. These residents are asked to identify themselves to the IRS before filing a return or making a payment. Eligible taxpayers who receive penalty notices from the IRS can also call this number to have their penalties abated.
 
By Jason Bramwell
 
Due to the tragedy at the Boston Marathon on April 15, the IRS is expected to extend the filing deadline for Boston-area residents so they can finish their tax returns without penalty.
 
The IRS was scheduled to release details on individual tax filing and payment extensions for Boston-area taxpayers on April 16, but had not as of 2:30 p.m. EST.
 
James Erdekian, CPA, a tax director at Boston-based Feeley & Driscoll PC, believes the IRS is making the right decision in extending the April 15 deadline.
 
“People shouldn’t need to worry about their taxes if they had a loved one or friend who was affected by this,” Erdekian told AccountingWEB. “[Marathon] workers, emergency and medical personnel, and all the people who are solving this crime also shouldn’t have to worry if their taxes weren’t wrapped up yesterday. It’s the least we can do. If this deadline extension helps a few, than that’s great.”
 

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Two bombs exploded near the finish line at the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon, killing three people and injuring more than 170 others, according to published reports.

 
Erdekian says he heard about the explosions Monday afternoon from a coworker. He says he and many others at the firm listened to the radio to find out the latest news about the tragedy, as Internet service following the incident was “extremely spotty.” 
 
“Boston is a small, close-knit city, and I’ve lived here all my life,” he says. “What happened yesterday was disturbing, upsetting, and a violation of humanity.”
 

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