After President Obama declared Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic and Somerset Counties federal disaster areas, the IRS issued tax relief for victims affected by Hurricane Irene. The declaration permits the IRS to postpone deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after August 27, 2011, have been postponed until October 31, 2011. This includes corporations and other businesses that previously obtained an extension until September 15, 2011 to file their 2010 returns, and individuals and businesses that received a similar extension until October 17, 2011. In addition, it also includes the estimated tax payment for the third quarter, normally due September 15, 2011. If an affected taxpayer receives a penalty notice from the IRS, the taxpayer should call the number on the notice to have the IRS abate any interest and any late filing or late payment penalties that would otherwise apply. Penalties or interest will be abated only for taxpayers who have an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date, including an extended filing or payment due date, that falls within the postponement date. The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies automatic filing and payment relief. But affected taxpayers who reside or have businesses located outside the covered disaster area must call the IRS disaster hotline at 1.866.562.5227 to request this tax relief. The New Jersey Division of Taxation will also extend tax payment and filing deadlines for individuals and businesses whose operations were disrupted by Hurricane Irene. Taxpayers who qualify will include businesses and individuals located in New Jersey, and both in state and out-of-state businesses with operations in the State. Businesses with operations in other states hit by the storm may also qualify for relaxed deadlines.
Taxpayers who can’t make normal deadlines because of the storm now have until October 31 to file quarterly tax payments that would have been due on September 15. In addition, deadlines for any tax filings that were due on or after August 27 have been extended retroactively until October 31. Covered filings and estimated payments include those for individual income tax, corporation business tax, sales tax, inheritance tax, estate tax, partnership and other business taxes administered by the Division of Taxation. State rules won’t necessarily conform exactly with IRS rules. In New Jersey, individuals and businesses that previously received an earlier filing extension until October 17 will now have until October 31 to file returns. Businesses that previously obtained a filing extension to September 15 are also covered by this relief and have until October 31 to file their returns. Nonresident taxpayers with a filing requirement in New Jersey who are in Presidential Disaster areas in other states also have until October 31 to file any New Jersey nonresident tax returns that are due during the extension period. Taxpayers who receive a billing notice from the Division should call the Division’s Customer Service Center at the number listed on the notice to explain their circumstances. For additional answers to questions about New Jersey Tax Relief for Hurricane Irene, taxpayers should call 609.292.6400 or e-mail the Division at https://www.state.nj.us/treas/taxation/contactus_tyttaxa.shtml.