IRS Postponements Related to Hurricane Irene 

    As you are probably aware, the IRS announced September 1 that it would allow taxpayers who reside in, or have businesses in counties that were declared federal disaster areas to file certain returns late. Since September 1, the IRS has added additional states to its list based on the Federal Emergency Management Agency reviews of state applications. For more information about these federal disaster areas, other types of relief available, and the various locations eligible for relief, go to the IRS’ website.

    Taxpayers not located in declared disaster areas but whose records necessary to meet a deadline are in the covered disaster area are also entitled to relief.  Certain deadlines falling on or after August 26, and on or before October 31, have been postponed to October 31, 2011, which  includes corporations and other businesses that previously obtained an extension until September 15 to file their 2010 returns, and individuals and businesses that received a similar extension until October 17. The extension also applies to the estimated tax payment for the third quarter, normally due September 15.

    The IRS also announced relief for taxpayers whose return preparers were affected by Hurricane Irene (IR-2011-88). The September 15 tax return due date is extended to September 22 for taxpayers whose return preparer is located in an area that was under an evacuation order or a severe weather warning because of Hurricane Irene. This encompasses a larger area than the federally declared disaster areas. The relief applies to taxpayers no matter where they are located.

    The September 15 deadline applies primarily to 2010 corporate, partnership, and trust returns on extension. The relief applies to the filing deadline; the tax payment requirements are not postponed.

    After numerous discussions with the IRS, the AICPA asked the Service to extend the September 15th filing deadline for certain tax returns for taxpayers and tax return preparers located in areas affected by Hurricane Irene. “Many of our members are currently actively engaged in preparation of corporate, pass-through entity and trust tax returns with extended filing deadlines of September 15, 2011,” Patricia Thompson, chair of the AICPA Tax Executive Committee, said in the letter. “The provision of these services has been drastically affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. We are hearing reports of members who have limited internet connectivity and power outages (both at their offices and at their personal residences).

    The AICPA was sensitive to the IRS’ limited authority to change form and payment dates.  We were also very much aware of the real effect of changes to form and payment dates on the ability of the IRS to administer the tax system as well as the cash flow issues created for the Treasury Department when a significant payment date, September 15, is impacted.  Nevertheless, we believed the extent of the weather disruptions warranted generous relief.

    Our discussions related to Hurricane Irene also extended to many Eastern Seaboard state CPA societies in assisting them in disseminating the needed information to their members.

    For information regarding the impacts on state tax filings, please go to your state taxing authority website. The attached chart has links to the different state tax authorities and can be accessed though this link.

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