On Wednesday, the IRS announced it is granting taxpayers and tax preparers affected by Hurricane Sandy until Nov. 7 to file returns and accompanying payments normally due on Oct. 31 (IR-2012-82).The relief applies to taxpayers and tax preparers in an area affected by Hurricane Sandy or otherwise affected by the storm. The relief is automatic, and taxpayers do not have to take any action.
Most returns due on Oct. 31 are payroll and excise tax returns and accompanying payments, including Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, for the third quarter; Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return, for the third quarter; Form 730, Monthly Tax Return for Wagers, for wagers accepted in September; and Form 2290, Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return, for vehicles first used in September.
The IRS is not postponing the due dates for regular federal tax deposits. However, the IRS notes that if taxpayers or tax practitioners receive a penalty notice for this period, they can contact the IRS at the number on the notice to request penalty abatement due to reasonable cause on account of the storm.
After the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issues disaster declarations for the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, the IRS expects to issue additional filing and payment relief.
—Alistair M. Nevius (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the JofA’s editor-in-chief, tax.