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Posted by taxguru on April 9, 2002

Due Dates For 2000 Tax Returns

There is a lot of confusion regarding the later allowable due dates for 2000 tax returns because of the disruption caused by the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks and the resulting aftermath. I admit that I added somewhat to the confusion; so I want to clear things up…at least until the law changes again.

Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, with the normal extension due date of October 15 approaching, IRS announced that it was extending that due date for 120 more days, the longest it had authority to do at that time. This moved the due date to February 12, 2002. Having been through literally thousands of messy IRS confrontations over the past 26+ years, I understand the value of official documentation of as much as possible. For that reason, before 10/15/01, I sent IRS extension forms for several clients documenting the new due date of 2/12/02 for their 2000 tax returns. As I mentioned earlier, this caused a lot of confusion with IRS personnel, and for some of my clients.

Then, there was another change. On January 23, 2002 the President signed into law H.R. 2884, the Victims of Terrorism Tax Relief Act of 2001 (Public Law Number 107-134). The new law provides income and estate tax relief for victims of the terrorist attacks in Oklahoma City in 1995, the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City and Washington D.C., and those affected by the anthrax attacks between September 11 and the end of 2001.

You can see the full explanation of this law here.

The provision that applies to the due dates is as follows:

IRS Authority to Postpone Tax-related Deadlines:

IRC �7508A was amended to allow the IRS to postpone certain tax-related deadlines due to a Presidentially declared disaster or terroristic or military action. Under the old rules, the IRS could postpone deadlines for up to 120 days. Under the new rules, the IRS can postpone deadlines for up to 1 year. In addition to Presidentially declared disasters, the IRS can also postpone deadlines due to terroristic or military action as defined in section 692(c)(2).

This new authority moves the deadline for 2000 income tax returns to October 15, 2002, one year after their original extended due dates. I am still working on a number of 2000 tax returns; but I have no intention of waiting until 10/15/02 to finish them because we can’t work on the 2001 returns until the 2000 ones are completed.

That is how things stand now. If the MidEast conflict goes nuclear, as some people are predicting, it will most likely change yet again. It is an almost certainty, given the legendary (lack of) efficiency among IRS personnel, that many of them are unaware of this new law and will have to have it pointed out to them, as is so often the case.


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