This Technical Information Release (TIR) announces automatic extensions of time that the Massachusetts Department of Revenue is granting to affected taxpayers in the Presidential Disaster Areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida struck by Hurricane Katrina. Recognizing that there has been disruption for many individuals and businesses as a result of this natural disaster, affected taxpayers with returns or payments or other tax related filings due on or after August 29, 2005, August 24th for Florida, will be granted an extension to file and to pay until January 3, 2006, as further explained below. This relief includes the September 15th due date for estimated taxes and for calendar-year corporate returns with automatic extensions. This relief follows similar relief granted by the Internal Revenue Service, see IR-2005-84 (August 30, 2005), IR-2005-91 (September 2, 2005) and IR-2005-96 (September 8, 2005), and is made pursuant to the Commissioner's authority under G.L. c. 62C, § 87, relating to taxpayers affected by a Presidentially declared disaster.
II. Extension Provisions
The due date and payment date for returns and payments required to be filed by affected taxpayers after August 29, 2005 will be extended to January 3, 2006. For affected Florida residents, the effective date begins August 24, 2005. This extension covers the filing of returns as well as claims for abatement, the payment of tax (including payment of estimated tax), making elections and the periods for filing with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, Appellate Tax Board, and Probate Court. See G. L. c. 62C, § 81(a)(1) for a complete list. During the time of this extension, no interest or penalties will accrue. However, this extension of time does not affect tax deficiencies existing prior to August 29th.
III. Affected Taxpayers
"Affected taxpayers," for purposes of this TIR, are any individuals whose principal residence or place of employment, and any business entity whose principal place of business is located within the counties and parishes designated by the Internal Revenue Service as ones affected by Hurricane Katrina. These areas are currently listed in IR-2005-91 available at http://www.irs.gov. Affected taxpayers also include individuals and businesses whose tax records, including records needed for tax deposits, are located in the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina, as well as relief workers.
IV. To Claim the Extension
Affected taxpayers seeking an extension to January 3, 2006 should mark the top of any affected "paper" returns, payments vouchers, depository slips, or abatement applications (Form CA-6) in red ink with the following notation: "Hurricane Katrina" and attach a separate sheet of paper containing a brief explanation of why they are an affected taxpayer within the meaning of this TIR. The returns should be mailed to: Mass. Dept. of Revenue, P.O. Box 7041, Boston, MA 02204. Those taxpayers filing electronic returns should continue to file electronically, and should contact the Department's Office of the Taxpayer Advocate at (617) 626-2280 for assistance in seeking extension relief.
Individuals or businesses located in the disaster area - or taxpayers outside the area that were directly affected by it - should contact the Department at 617-887-6367 if they are assessed interest or penalties for filing returns or paying taxes late.
Please note that until further notice, the Department will grant such further extensions as announced by the Internal Revenue Service relating to changes in the affected areas and due dates. The Department will also follow the Internal Revenue Service position announced in Notice 2005-68 relating to employee leave-based donation programs.
Commissioner of Revenue
September 14, 2005