It's official. President Barack Obama has declared portions of North Carolina that were hit by severe storms, flooding and tornadoes last weekend a major disaster area.
And that has prompted the Internal Revenue Service to announce taxpayer relief for the disaster area residents. North Carolina state tax officials had already given affected taxpayers special treatment for their state filings.
On the federal tax level, the IRS says that individual residents of Bertie, Bladen, Cumberland, Halifax, Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Onslow, Wake and Wilson counties qualify for the special tax treatment. Federal tax relief also is being granted to businesses in these counties.
These taxpayers now have until June 30 to file individual returns and pay taxes that were due Monday, April 18. The extended date also applies, according to the IRS, to making 2010 contributions to an individual retirement account, or IRA.
Businesses will not be charged a failure-to-deposit penalty for employment and excise tax deposits that were due on or after April 16 as long as these deposits are made by May 2.
Remember, if you sustain damages from a presidentially declared storm, you have the option to claim those disaster losses in the tax year in which it happened or in the prior tax year. For affected North Carolinians, that means claiming the losses on their 2010 return instead of waiting until next year when they file their 2011 taxes.
Run the numbers to see which works best for you in getting tax help in recovering from a disaster.
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