Hurricane Irene: Extend Tax Filing Deadlines for Areas Affected by Storm

September 8, 2011

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants on August 30 asked the Internal Revenue Service to extend the Sept. 15 filing deadline for business returns where the taxpayers or tax return preparers are 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 Aug. 30 letter

“The provision of these services has been drastically affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Irene,” she said.  “We are hearing reports of members who have limited internet connectivity and power outages, both at their offices and at their personal residences.  Our members have experienced massive transportation disruptions and flooding of their residences and offices.  Also we have heard from members who are having difficulty communicating with their taxpayer clients who are located in the affected areas, including difficulty obtaining information necessary to prepare the return.”
The AICPA asked the IRS to use its administrative authority to grant an extension of the filing deadline for those in the affected areas. Thompson asked that any relief apply to situations where the taxpayer, tax return preparer or the records are located in areas impacted by Hurricane Irene. 

On Sept. 1, the IRS announced it would allow taxpayers who reside in, or have businesses in, counties that were declared federal disaster areas to file returns late.  As of Sept. 7, counties in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Vermont and Puerto Rico are included.  As the Federal Emergency Management Agency reviews states’ requests for disaster assistance, the IRS is expected to include additional areas.  Information about the types of relief available is on the IRS website.

The IRS extended the Sept. 15 and Oct. 15 extended due dates until Oct. 31 for individuals, corporations and other business entities, as well as for clients of CPAs who have offices located in federally declared disaster areas.  In addition, the AICPA tax staff  verified with the IRS that taxpayers whose tax preparers were under an evacuation order or severe weather warning for Hurricane Irene are eligible for a one-week extension in the Sept. 15 due date until Sept. 22.   For more information, see the Sept. 2 Tax Adviser article.