This TIR announces that the Massachusetts Department of Revenue ("Department") will grant automatic extensions of time until August 8, 2011 for certain tax filings and payments otherwise required to be made by taxpayers between June 1, 2011 and August 8, 2011. On June 15, 2011, the President of the United States declared a disaster area for certain counties in Central Massachusetts - specifically Hampden and Worcester - due to severe storms and tornadoes that struck the area on June 1, 2011. 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=240651,00.html (June 16, 2011) (the "IRS Release"). See also G.L. c. 62C, § 87.
II. Grant of Relief
The due date for certain returns and tax payments required from affected taxpayers will be extended until August 8, 2011, 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 June 1, 2011 and August 8, 2011. For example, this extension applies to the June 15 deadline for making estimated tax payments. Also, the extension applies to filing corporate excise or unrelated business income tax returns in the instance of a corporation or non-profit corporation with a fiscal year end that has a filing due date within the extension period,  estate and trust income tax returns, estate tax returns, partnership returns, and S corporation returns, as well as payments that are due with such returns.
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. However, 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 under existing Departmental procedures for reasonable cause. See AP 633.
In addition, this extension does not apply to taxpayers that have previously filed their returns but not yet made payment.
During the time of this extension, when applicable, no interest or penalties will accrue. However, a taxpayer that does not meet the extended August 8, 2011 due date will owe interest and penalties dating back to the original tax return or tax payment due date.
The extension of time granted under this TIR shall not affect tax deficiencies existing prior to the period beginning June 1, 2011, 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: Hampden 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 "2011 Tornadoes." 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.
/s/ Navjeet K. Bal
Navjeet K. Bal
Commissioner of Revenue
June 23, 2011
 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.
Additional disaster/emergency relief information available from IRS