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IRS Provides Relief to Those Affected by Boston Marathon Bombing Tragedy

Let me start by saying we here at Ed Slott and Company were horrified and deeply saddened by the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, and we salute the first responders and brave citizens who so courageously rushed to the aide of so many who were in need, no doubt saving countless lives.

Earlier this morning, IRS announced that it would be providing relief to some affected by this tragedy by extending the deadline for certain taxpayers to file their return. Although this relief will be of little solace for those who have lost a loved one or whose lives have been irrevocably changed, it may, at least, remove one item of worry from victims’ (or others affected) to-do lists, for now, at a time when thoughts and actions are likely best utilized elsewhere.

Here are some of the key points you need to know, followed by a full copy of IRS’ announcement of the relief.

  • The relief automatically applies to all residents of Suffolk County, MA. If you live outside this area, but have been affected, you can claim this relief by calling 866-562-5227 beginning April 23rd.
  • Relief is available to the victims of the blast, as well as their families, first responders and others impacted by the events.
  • No filing or payment penalties will apply as long as returns are filed and payments made by July 15, 2013.
  • Interest will accrue from the April 15, 2013 deadline for returns filed later, even under this relief. The interest is not something IRS has the authority to waive. Thankfully, interest rates are still a very low 3% annualized amount (but compounded daily), so even if those affected wait until the last day to file under this relief (July 15, 2013), any unpaid tax liability would only increase by about 1%.
  • Those who will still need more time to file can file an extension (Form 4868) by July 15, 2013, which will extend the filing date further to October 15, 2013.
Here is the complete release:

IRS Announces Three-Month Filing, Payment Extension Following Boston Marathon Explosions

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced a three-month tax filing and payment extension to Boston area taxpayers and others affected by Monday’s explosions.

This relief applies to all individual taxpayers who live in Suffolk County, Mass., including the city of Boston. It also includes victims, their families, first responders, others impacted by this tragedy who live outside Suffolk County and taxpayers whose tax preparers were adversely affected.

“Our hearts go out to the people affected by this tragic event,” said IRS Acting Commissioner Steven T. Miller. “We want victims and others affected by this terrible tragedy to have the time they need to finish their individual tax returns.”

Under the relief announced today, the IRS will issue a notice giving eligible taxpayers until July 15, 2013, to file their 2012 returns and pay any taxes normally due April 15. No filing and payment penalties will be due as long as returns are filed and payments are made by July 15, 2013. By law, interest, currently at the annual rate of 3 percent compounded daily, will still apply to any payments made after the April deadline.

The IRS will automatically provide this extension to anyone living in Suffolk County. If you live in Suffolk County, no further action is necessary by taxpayers to obtain this relief. However, eligible taxpayers living outside Suffolk County can claim this relief by calling 1-866-562-5227 starting Tuesday, April 23, and identifying 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 these penalties abated.

Eligible taxpayers who need more time to file their returns may receive an additional extension to Oct. 15, 2013, by filing Form 4868 by July 15, 2013.

Taxpayers with questions unrelated to the Boston tragedy should visit IRS.gov, or contact the regular IRS toll-free number at 1-800-829-1040.

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