Rita Victims Eligible for Tax Relief

October 19, 2005

East Texas residents recovering from Hurricane Rita may find some consolation in their eligibility for federal and state tax relief.

The Internal Revenue Service is working to provide appropriate tax and financial relief assistance to victims of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Some of the tax relief provisions offered include delayed deadlines for filing tax returns and making tax payments, new rules for waiver of penalties on IRA and 401K withdrawals, help with reconstruction of tax records and guidance on claiming casualty losses for unreimbursed property damage.

Hurricane victims in need of help with tax matters should call the IRS Hurricane Relief Hotline at 1-866-562-5227. Specific information about IRS Hurricane Relief provisions can be found at www.irs.gov

Texas taxpayers affected by Hurricane Rita may seek 90-day extensions for state tax returns, including sales and franchise returns, due in September and October. Texas law also provides for exemption of sales taxes on labor costs to repair non-residential property damaged by the storm and services to restore storm-damaged property, including dry cleaning of clothing and draperies, rug and carpet cleaning and appliance repairs.

For more information about Texas tax relief or to request a tax filing extension, call the Comptroller’s toll-free tax assistance line in Austin at 1- 800-252-5555.

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