Carnival of Business #10
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Uncle Sam's flood insurance status

The old adage about he (or she) who controls the weather, controls the world, came to mind as I read about flooding problems in the northeast, particularly in the nation's capital.

Irs_headquarters_2 Last night before turning off the TV, I watched video of the inundation of parts of Maryland. Then this morning, CNN reports that flooding from a weekend of heavy rain in the Washington, D.C., area has shut down, among other government offices, the Internal Revenue Service headquarters.

My first thought: Does the agency have a flood insurance policy? (Do you? If not, you might want to read this earlier post.)

At least it's the headquarters that's shut down, rather than one of the agency's service centers where work on our individual tax returns is done.

Before the IRS was waterlogged, it was able to send out some notices, including a couple affecting taxpayers who suffered much more horrific flooding  last year during and after Hurricane Katrina.

Previously, the IRS had given eligible taxpayers until Aug. 28 to file their 2005 individual income tax returns. These folks now have until Oct. 16 to file. The extension also applies to persons who received an extension until Oct. 15, 2005, to file their 2004 individual income tax returns but were unable to meet the deadline because of the storm.

This latest postponement generally applies to taxpayers in the Louisiana parishes of Cameron, Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles and St. Tammany, as well as those living in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties in Mississippi.

You can find complete details in this IRS announcement. The agency also provides guidance for claiming hurricane-related casualty losses in this notice.

State taxpayers also get a break. Louisiana and Mississippi tax officials have announced that they will follow the IRS lead and give residents the same amount of extra time to file their state returns.

In fact, Louisiana's extension applies to even more parishes. Full details can be found in this Department of Revenue press release.

Mississippi is sticking with the same three counties as designated by the IRS, but is giving those taxpayers until Oct. 16 to complete their state filings. Details here.

Photo of the IRS building on a clearer day courtesy of OldCastle-Arpal LLC


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