Additional relief granted to owners of houses destroyed by Hurricane Katrina

If Hurricane Katrina destroyed your primary residence, The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has again extended the time you have to sell the lot that the house stood on and enjoy more favorable tax benefits.

Normally, federal law gives owners of homes that are destroyed two years to sell the lot that remains and still be able to qualify for tax advantages. But beyond two years, the sale of these properties is considered the sale of vacant land and larger tax implications apply, according to The Times-Picayune.

This month, the IRS extended the deadline by 16 months. Originally the IRS had extended the two-year deadline to three years last August for victims of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.

"This is another opportunity for taxpayers to rebuild their lives," IRS Spokesman Mark Green was quoted as saying. "This gives them additional opportunity and time to reconstruct and rebuild and re-establish their lives."

Over the weekend, the IRS provided additional tax relief to disaster-area counties in Iowa, Indiana, and Wisconsin in the form of postponing various tax filing and payment deadlines. Similar relief had been extended to storm victims earlier this spring in parts of Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, and Oklahoma.


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