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Massachusetts Joins List of States Offering Relief to Certain Taxpayers Affected by Hurricane Sandy

Administrative Guidance:  On November 8th, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (the “Department”) issued Technical Information Release (“TIR”) 12-9, in which it announced that the Department will grant an automatic extension of time until February 1, 2013 for certain tax filings and payments that would have been required to be filed and/or paid by non-resident individual and business taxpayers affected by Hurricane Sandy. This extension applies to filings and/or payments due between October 29, 2012 and January 31, 2013 (other than those excluded in the TIR as discussed below).

Specifically, the Department is granting this extension to taxpayers described in Internal Revenue Service Press Release, IR-2012-83, issued on November 2nd (and updated on November 9th, 13th, and 15th) as being in FEMA-designated jurisdictions impacted by Hurricane Sandy, including taxpayers in certain counties and municipalities in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. (See IRS IR-2012-83 for a specific listing of the counties and jurisdictions in the affected states.)

The extension to February 1, 2013, will also be extended to individuals and businesses whose tax records, including records needed for tax payments, are located in FEMA designated counties or municipalities, and to relief workers affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization assisting in the relief activities in the covered disaster areas.

Excluded Filings and Payments

It’s important to note that the automatic extension of time to file and/or pay will not apply to trustee tax returns and payments. Therefore, sales or use tax returns and payments, meals tax returns and payments, room occupancy tax returns and payments, and employer and other withholding tax returns and payments due between October 29, 2012 and January 31, 2103 must be timely filed and remitted.  However, the TIR indicates that the Department expects that late-file and late-pay penalties will generally be waived with respect to such trustee tax returns and payments where the taxpayer has reasonable cause for the late filing and payment in accordance with Massachusetts Administrative Procedure (AP) 633.

It should also be noted that the automatic extension, does not apply to payments relating to previously filed returns for which payment had not yet been made. Therefore, a taxpayer who filed a return or extension prior to October 29, 2012 and whose associated payment is due between October 29, 2012 and January 31, 2013 must remit the required payment on its anticipated, regular due date.

Sylvia's Summation

While Massachusetts has joined the list of states offering relief to certain taxpayers affected by Hurricane Sandy, it should be noted that this relief extends specifically to certain taxpayers in FEMA designated counties and jurisdictions outside of Massachusetts. Therefore, in general, Massachusetts residents and businesses located in the Commonwealth are not entitled to this same filing/payment relief unless their tax records, including records needed for tax payments, are located in a FEMA designated county or municipality, or such Massachusetts residents are relief workers affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization assisting in the relief activities in the covered disaster.

For more information on Massachusetts' Hurricane Sandy taxpayer relief, see TIR 12-9: Extension of Time for Certain Tax Filings and Payments for Taxpayers Affected by Hurricane Sandy. 

For more information on the Federal Government's Hurricane Sandy response efforts, or to donate or volunteer, see the Hurricane Sandy widget to the right.


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In addition to IR-2012-83, which details the IRS' tax relief, also see the following Releases, Tax Bulletins and other guidance issued by various states announcing their state’s relief to taxpayers impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Additionally, even if a state's extended relief deadline has passed or a state has not issued a formal announcement, taxpayers impacted by Sandy should not hesitate to contact their State Tax Agency for further information:

Arizona – Release, Department of Revenue Grants Relief to Victims of Hurricane Sandy: http://www.azdor.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=0OyxtJLC6yg%3D&tabid=39

Connecticut - Press Release Announcing State Tax Deadlines extended to November 7th, Commercial Tax Registration Waived Due to Storm Sandy: http://www.ct.gov/drs/cwp/view.asp?Q=513158&A=1436

Connecticut - Press Release Announcing that despite passage of November 7th extended deadline, the Department, realizing that there may still be real hardships for some Connecticut taxpayers and tax preparers, as well as for out-of-state tax preparers who service Connecticut taxpayers, will consider any Sandy Storm related hardships brought to the Department's attention:  http://www.ct.gov/drs/cwp/view.asp?A=1436&Q=513536

Florida – Webpage on Emergency and Disaster Response, Including Offer to Work with Taxpayers Impacted by Hurricane Sandy: http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/disasters/

New Jersey – Press Release, Governor Christie Announces Additional Tax Filing Extension to Provide Relief for Businesses Affected by Hurricane Sandy: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pdf/Additional_Tax_Filing_Extension11-08-12.pdf

New Jersey – Press Release, Governor Christie Extends Tax Deadline for Businesses Disrupted by Storm: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pdf/Governor-Christie-Extends-Tax-Deadline-for-Businesses-Disrupted-by-Storm.pdf

New York – Notice N-12-11, Announcement Regarding Hurricane Sandy: http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/notices/n12_11.pdf

New York – Notice N-12-12, Additional Relief for Employers Affected by Hurricane Sandy: http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/notices/n12_12.pdf

North Dakota - Webpage stating that businesses Impacted by Hurricane Sandy and which were not able to meet their October 31st deadline for filing sales tax, payroll withholding tax and corporate income tax returns should contact the Department for a possible Waiver of Penalties: http://www.nd.gov/tax/hurricanesandy.html

Oregon - Webpage Announcing a Further Extension to February 1, 2013 to Make Certain Filings and Payments (including payroll and excise tax filings and 4th quarter personal estimated tax payments. Note - Oregon had previously announced a November 7th deadline, which has now been extended to February 1st): http://www.oregon.gov/dor/Pages/110812-Hurricane-Sandy-Update.aspx

Rhode Island - Administrative Order, Temporary Exemption from the International Fuel Tax Agreement ("IFTA") for Motor Vehicles Traveling Within or Through Rhode Island for Purpose of Responding to Hurricane Sandy Emergency:
http://www.tax.state.ri.us/notice/2012/Notice%202012-11%20IFTA%20Relief%20for%20Motor%20Carriers%20Hauling%20Hurricane%20Supplies%2011-07-12.pdf

Virginia - Tax Bulletin 12-7, Important Information Regarding Those Affected by Hurricane Sandy, Penalty and Interest Waiver for Victims of Hurricane Sandy (link leads to Tax Policy webpage, once you are on that page, click on "Tax Bulletins", then on "2012", then on "VTB 12-7" to arrive at Tax Bulletin 12-7): http://www.policylibrary.tax.virginia.gov/OTP/Policy.nsf

Wisconsin – Webpage/Article, Hurricane Sandy Victims Qualify for Disaster Relief: http://www.dor.state.wi.us/taxpro/news/121108.html

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