This TIR announces that pursuant to the Governor's direction, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue ("Department") will grant automatic extensions of time until May 11, 2010 for certain tax filings and payments otherwise required to be made by taxpayers between March 12, 2010 and May 10, 2010. On March 29, 2010, the President of the United States declared a disaster area within seven counties in Eastern and Central Massachusetts - specifically, Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester Counties - due to severe storms and flooding that began on March 12, 2010. Following that declaration, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") announced extensions of time for certain federal tax filing and payment deadlines, see http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=220830,00.html (March 31, 2010) (the "IRS Release"). For major categories of income tax filers, the specific relief granted by the Department will generally correspond to that provided and announced by the IRS release, with further guidance as provided by this TIR with respect to the scope of the relief and certain details. See also G.L. c. 62C, § 87; TIR 08-19, as amplified by this TIR.
II. Grant of Relief
The due date for certain returns and tax payments required from affected taxpayers will be extended until May 11, 2010 consistent with the guidance stated in the IRS Release. This extension applies to most tax returns and tax payments, including estimated tax payments, that either have an original or extended due date occurring between March 12, 2010 and May 10, 2010. In particular, this extension applies to the April 15 deadline for filing 2009 individual income tax returns and making individual income tax payments (and estimated tax payments). Also, the extension applies to the April 15 deadline for filing corporate excise or unrelated business income tax returns in the instance of a corporation or non-profit corporation with a January 31 fiscal tax year-end,  estate and trust income tax returns, partnership returns, S corporation returns and individual and business use tax returns (Forms ST-10 and ST-11), as well as the payments that are due with such returns. However, this extension does not apply to trustee tax returns and payments, including 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. Further, this extension does not apply to taxpayers that have previously filed their returns but not yet made payment.
This TIR also extends the time for filing an extension request as otherwise permitted under Massachusetts law, provided that in the event of such an extension request the period of the extension remains what it would have been if the request had been made by a taxpayer that was not an affected taxpayer. Thus, for example, an affected taxpayer that would otherwise be required to file an extension request by April 15, 2010 has until May 11, 2010 to file an extension request, but the period of that extension shall be until October 15, 2010 (or such other extended due date as would apply in the absence of this relief).
During the time of this extension, no interest or penalties will accrue. However, a taxpayer that does not meet the extended May 11, 2010 due date will owe interest and penalties dating back to the original tax return or tax payment due date, which in most cases will be April 15, 2010.
The extension of time granted under this TIR shall not affect tax deficiencies existing prior to the period beginning March 12, 2010, nor will it apply to claims for abatement, making elections, the filing of any other tax documents with the Department, or filings with the Appellate Tax Board or tax appeals filed with Massachusetts Courts.
III. Affected Taxpayers
For purposes of this TIR, "affected taxpayers" are any individuals who live, and businesses whose principal place of business is located, in the federal disaster area, which consists of the following Massachusetts counties: Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester. Affected taxpayers also include individuals and businesses whose tax records, including records needed for tax deposits, are located in these counties, and relief workers affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization assisting in the relief activities in the covered disaster area.
IV. To Claim the Extension
The Department's computer systems will identify taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and apply automatic filing and payment relief for electronically filed returns. If for some reason the taxpayer is unable to file electronically, the taxpayer's paper forms and returns should be marked at top in red ink with the notation "2010 Flooding." Any affected taxpayer who files and pays by the extended deadline and still receives late filing or payment penalties should contact the Department's Customer Service Bureau.
V. Contiguous States Disaster Relief
In the event that the President of the United States declares a disaster area in connection with the severe storms and flooding that affected the Massachusetts counties referenced in this TIR as to one or more counties located in a state or states that are contiguous to Massachusetts, the provisions of this TIR will also apply as to non-resident Massachusetts income tax returns and payments due from persons in the affected counties in those other states. The President has declared that the Rhode Island counties of Kent, Newport, Providence and Washington are federal disaster areas by reason of the recent storms and flooding and so this provision applies as to non-resident individuals of those Rhode Island counties.
/s/Navjeet K. Bal
Navjeet K. Bal
Commissioner of Revenue
April 2, 2010
 For purposes of this TIR, corporations include financial institutions within the meaning of G.L. c. 63, § 1, utility corporations within the meaning of G.L. c. 63, § 52A and insurance companies within the meaning of G.L. c. 63, §§ 20-29D.