PEARL, Miss. – Mississippi taxpayers living in counties that were designated as major disaster areas as a result of recent storms and tornados may be able to postpone filing their federal tax returns and paying what they owe.
This would apply to residents of Forrest, Lamar, Wayne and Marion counties. Under Internal Revenue Service rules, taxpayers in these counties whose returns and payments are due Monday, April 15, can hold off on filing until April 30. Businesses who must file by March 15 or on any date after that can also postpone filing.
IRS rules and regulations tend to be very complicated. Taxpayers should talk to their tax preparers to make sure they qualify for relief under Section 7508A of the Federal Tax Code and what any new deadlines might be.
Taxpayers who don’t use a tax-preparing service or a tax accountant can call the IRS at 800-829-1040 for individual taxpayer help or 800-829-4933 for business help.
For personal service, visit any of the six IRS offices in Mississippi. There is a list of these offices with their addresses and phone numbers at www.irs.gov/uac/Contact-My-Local-Office-in-Mississippi.
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 he or she receives.
The IRS will forgive any penalties for late filings (as long as they are filed before any new deadline) for individuals and businesses in the declared counties. In addition, any individual or business whose necessary records are in those counties might also get relief.
According to the IRS, “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.”
In some cases, taxpayers who reside or have a business outside the disaster-declared counties can also seek relief. Phone the IRS Disaster Help Line at 866-562-5227. Residents within the declared areas are identified by IRS computers and don’t have to file relief requests.
Losses that were not covered by insurance or state and FEMA grants can be deducted from a taxpayer’s gross income on either their 2012 or 2013 tax return. If anyone wants to claim a loss deduction on his or her return that was already filed and wishes to have any refund sent, he or she should note “Mississippi/Tornado and Flooding” at the top of the tax form.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.