CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- West Virginian taxpayers living in counties that were designated as major-disaster areas might qualify for a postponement in filing their federal tax returns and paying what they owe.
This relief would apply to residents of Lincoln, Logan, Wayne and Marion counties. Under Internal Revenue Service rules, these taxpayers whose returns and payments are due April 17 can postpone the filings until May 31. Businesses who must file by March 15 or on any date before May 31 can also postpone filing until May 31.
The IRS will waive any penalties for late filings (before May 31) for individuals and businesses in the affected counties. In addition, any individual or business whose necessary records are in an affected county might also qualify for relief.
“If an affected taxpayer receives a penalty notice from the IRS, the taxpayer should call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS abate any interest and any late filing or late payment penalties that would otherwise apply,” the IRS says. Under certain circumstances, disaster-affected taxpayers who reside or have a business outside the disaster-declared counties can phone the IRS Disaster Help Line at 866-562-5227 to request relief. Residents within the declared areas are automatically identified by IRS software and need not file relief requests.
Casualty losses that were not covered by insurance or other reimbursements like state and federal grants can be deducted from a taxpayer’s gross income on either their 2011 or 2012 tax return. If anyone wants to claim a casualty-loss deduction on his or her 2011 return and wishes to have any refund expedited, he or she should note “West Virginia/Severe Storms, Flooding, Mudslides and Landslides” at the top of the tax form.
Assistance grants from state or federal sources do not count in a taxpayer’s gross income, nor do they affect the amount of Social Security one receives.
IRS rules and regulations tend to be complicated. Taxpayers should consult their tax preparers to make sure they qualify for relief under the applicable Section (7508A) of the Federal Tax Code. Information is also available online at www.irs.gov or by calling 800-829-1040 for individual taxpayer help or 800-829-4933 for business help. Or visit any of the seven IRS offices in West Virginia. Call 211 for locations.??
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