IRS grants penalty relief to Oklahoma tornado victims


Monday, April 28th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6



OKLAHOMA CITY - The Internal Revenue Service Monday announced special penalty relief for Washington County residents affected by tornadoes on April 19, 2003. Taxpayers in other counties who were significantly impacted by these tornadoes may also ask for this relief.

Although the IRS is not granting additional time to file returns or pay taxes, it will abate penalties, based on reasonable cause, for taxpayers who file returns or make payments by June 28 for returns or taxes originally due from April 19 through June 28, 2003. Washington County individuals or businesses - or other taxpayers that were directly affected by the tornadoes - should contact the IRS if they receive penalties for filing returns or paying taxes late. Interest on overdue taxes will not be abated in this situation.

Individuals may deduct personal property losses that are not covered by insurance or other reimbursements, but they must first subtract $100 for each casualty event and then subtract ten percent of their adjusted gross income from their total casualty losses for the year. For details on figuring a casualty loss deduction, see IRS Publication 547, "Casualties, Disasters and Thefts."

The IRS will waive the usual fees and expedite requests for copies of previously filed tax returns for affected taxpayers who need them to apply for benefits or for other purposes. Such taxpayers should put "Severe Storms/Tornadoes - OK" in red ink at the top of Form 4506, "Request for Copy or Transcript of Tax Form," and submit it to the IRS.

Affected taxpayers who are contacted by the IRS on a collection or examination matter should explain how the tornadoes impacted them so that the IRS can provide appropriate consideration to their case.

Taxpayers may download forms and publications from the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov or may order them by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). The IRS toll-free number for general tax questions is 1-800-829-1040.