State and federal tax authorities are giving a break to taxpayers directly affected by last week's terrorist attacks and those whose payments may be late or lost because of mail disruptions.
Federal tax filing deadlines of nearly all types have been extended by the Internal Revenue Service to provide relief to taxpayers stymied by delays in mail delivery. Tax returns, payments or tax-election filings that were due Sept. 10 or later can be delayed until Sept. 24 without triggering late fees or penalties, the IRS said.
The federal government also has extended filing and tax-payment deadlines for relief workers, the families of victims on the four hijacked airliners and taxpayers who live or work in the disaster areas. In addition, those who have tax records that were kept in areas affected by the terrorist attacks also have been given additional time to file and pay their business and personal taxes.
Taxpayers in areas affected by the terrorist attacks or who have been personally affected by the attacks can add as much as six months from their original deadlines to file federal returns or make any payment due, the IRS said. Those deadlines originally ranged from Sept. 11 to Nov. 30.
The only type of tax deadline that can't be extended is for filing federal employment or excise tax deposits, the IRS said.
Airborne Express, DHL Worldwide, Federal Express and United Parcel Service can be used to deliver federal tax payments and documents until further notice, the IRS said.
In addition, the IRS is going to suspend many enforcement activities, including liens, levies, seizures and summonses, for affected taxpayers for six months.
Taxpayers entitled to relief should write "Sept. 11, 2001--Terrorist Attack" in red ink on the top of their returns or filings. If they receive a notice from the IRS, they can contact the agency at the number listed on the notice to explain why they are entitled to relief.
California tax authorities said affected taxpayers would be granted additional time to file state returns, pay quarterly estimated tax payments and respond to bills and notices.
Those seeking state tax relief can call the Franchise Tax Board at (800) 852-5711 or visit the agency's Web site at http://www.ftb.ca.gov.