IRS provides tax relief to some Irene victims

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service is extending tax payment deadlines for some individuals and businesses affected by Hurricane Irene.

The tax agency said Thursday the extensions will initially apply to taxpayers in certain counties and municipalities in North Carolina, New Jersey, New York and Puerto Rico. It said the list of eligible taxpayers is expected to grow as the Federal Emergency Management Agency makes further damage assessments.

The tax relief allows businesses that had previously obtained extensions until Sept. 15 to file 2010 returns to wait until Oct. 31. Also given extensions until Oct. 31 are individuals and businesses required to file 2010 returns by Oct. 17 and those who normally would make third-quarter estimated tax payments by Sept. 15.

In North Carolina, the filing and payment relief extends to Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico and Tyrell counties. Eligible in New Jersey are Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic and Somerset. The New York list is Albany, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Schenectady, Schoharie and Ulster. Puerto Rico areas covered are Caguas, Canovanas, Carolina, Cayey, Loiza, Luquillo and San Juan.

The tax agency later said that tax returns normally due on Sept. 15 would get a one-week extension if the taxpayer’s preparer is located in an area that was under an evacuation order or a severe weather warning because of Irene. It said the extension would apply primarily to corporations, partnerships and trusts.

The IRS said taxpayers and tax practitioners should monitor “Tax Relief in Disaster Situations” on the website for further extensions.