Hurricane Victims Get More Time to Claim Losses, File Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is postponing taxpayer filing and payment deadlines to August 28, 2006, for affected taxpayers hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina. In addition, taxpayers affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita or Wilma have until October 16, 2006, to claim disaster-related losses on their prior year federal income tax return.


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Individual and business taxpayers in the most severely damaged parishes and counties of Louisiana and Mississippi automatically have until August 28, 2006, to file returns and make certain tax payments that had a due date, or extended due date, on or after August 29, 2005, and on or before August 28, 2006. The failure to deposit penalty will also be waived for taxpayers in the areas who are unable to make their deposits during this time period. Individual, corporation, partnership, estate, trust, S-corporation, generation-skipping, employment and certain excise tax returns qualify for the extension. Taxpayers should identify themselves by writing “Hurricane Katrina” in red ink at the top of their return when filing or by calling the IRS Disaster Hotline at 866-562-5227.

In addition, taxpayers suffering disaster-related losses in certain areas of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas can choose to claim those losses on their current or prior year return through October 16, 2006. To speed the processing of these claims, taxpayers should write the name of the hurricane, in red, at the top of their return. Those who have already filed their prior year return can make this choice by filing an amended return. An explanation of the liberalized disaster loss rules and special instructions for claiming these losses can be found in Publication 4492: Information for Taxpayers Affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.


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