In response to recent bombings at the Boston Marathon, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is offering a three-month extension for Boston residents to file their taxes.

Immediately after the attacks, the IRS announced that taxpayers who live in Suffolk County, Mass., which includes Boston, have until June 15 to file their 2012 returns. Extension benefits also provide relief for those impacted by the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, acting as a buffer for families and first responders coping with the attacks.

In a press release, Steve T. Miller, IRS acting commissioner, noted the position of the IRS is to support those affected by the tragedies in Boston, saying, “We want victims and others affected by this terrible tragedy to have the time they need to finish their individual tax returns.” The IRS said the extension encompasses all of Suffolk County, so all residents, regardless of whether they were present at the attack, will receive relief.

Normally, the IRS provides extensions for natural disasters such as hurricanes, storms and tornadoes, making the tax extension for victims of the Boston Marathon relatively uncommon. In response to victims of Hurricane Sandy, for example, the IRS announced an abatement of filing and payment penalties for individuals and businesses that normally have to file quarterly for payroll and excise taxes, among other things.

In cases of natural disaster, like Hurricane Sandy, the tax relief for disaster victims is part of a coordinated federal response with FEMA, the IRS says. In the past several years, the agency has also provided relief for hurricanes Isaac and Irene, as well as a series of storms, floods, wildfires and earthquakes.

For Boston-area residents and bombing victims, the extension does not waive all penalties, however. The IRS mentioned no filing or payment penalties for Boston victims, but a daily interest rate of 3 percent still applies to later payments, despite the Boston Marathon tragedies. The IRS also mentioned that victims can fill out an additional form to extend their tax deadline even further, until October 15, although this would also carry the daily interest rate of 3 percent.


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