Katrina Corporate Extensions

With the news being filled with Hurricane Katrina, this seems to be a good time to address the upcoming corporate tax filing deadlines.

Many people are totally displaced from their homes and businesses. Odds are, that they won’t even be able to return to get their records for months. That is – if the records are in any way decipherable.

Yes, it’s true, IRS did grant an extension to October 31st for time to file the corporate returns of companies and taxpayers affected by Hurricane Katrina.
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But, how will IRS know that you or your client were affected?

In some cases, it will be obvious to IRS’s computers by virtue of the ZIP code.

In others, IRS will have no way of knowing.
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Perhaps it would be wise to alert IRS?

Here are some suggestions, depending on your connection with the corporation:

1)If you’re the tax professional, and have uncompleted corporate clients in your inventory, look them over to see if either the company or the client was a victim of Katrina in some way. They may have their business in the area.
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Or they may live outside the area, but their records are in that area. Whatever. Send IRS a letter advising them that this corporation needs additional time and wants to use the special Katrina extension.

2)You live or lived in the area and your corporate business records are in the disaster zone. Or you lived outside the area – but your tax professionals have your records – and they’re in the zone. Please see if you can find your corporation’s Federal Identification Number and send IRS a letter requesting the additional time. If you can’t find the number – at least include the corporation’s name and address.

3)You have a close friend or family member whose corporation is affected. You know that they don’t really have access to computers, the Internet or their corporate information. Help them. Send IRS a letter, explaining that, although you have no standing, you are making the request on behalf of a family member or close friend – and they’d like to let IRS know that they need the additional time. Again, even if you don’t have access to the Federal ID number – provide the corporate name and address.

Although this isn’t strictly necessary, it will help avoid the notices for late filing that might otherwise be generated if their ZIP code isn’t directly in the path of Katrina.

Naturally, you’ll find answers to all your tax issues and emergency tax information, where? At TaxMama.com

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