The Vermont Tax Department and the IRS have announced state and federal tax relief measures for the Vermonters impacted by Hurricane Irene. Go to http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=245058,00.html to read all of the details of the IRS federal relief. This document summarizes the IRS relief, and explains the parallel and additional relief that is offered by the state.
FEDERAL TAX RELIEF
The IRS has announced that taxpayers in many Vermont counties will be entitled to extensions from August 29 to October 31, and an election for treatment of uninsured casualty losses.
The federal tax relief covers all taxpayers who reside or have a principal place of business in areas under an individual disaster declaration – that includes all counties of Vermont except Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, and Orleans. The relief described below applies automatically, and taxpayers need not contact the IRS at this time.
Additionally, the relief extends to other taxpayers whose necessary records are in the affected counties, and to relief workers affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization assisting with relief in the covered areas. These taxpayers must call the IRS at (203) 415-1015 to identify themselves to the IRS and apply for tax relief.
Affected taxpayers will have until October 31 to file and pay on most federal tax returns that had an original or extended due date falling between August 29 and October 31. This includes most individual, corporate, trust and estate income tax returns and payments. Withholding deposits due starting August 29 will not be subject to penalties provided they are made by September 13. Beyond that, hardship waivers are available on a case by case basis. You may apply for the withholding hardship waiver by calling the IRS at 1-(866) 562-5227.
Affected taxpayers will have the option to claim uninsured personal property casualty losses on their federal income tax return for 2010 or 2011. If the loss is claimed on an amended return for last year, the taxpayer should put “Vermont/Hurricane Irene” on the top of the form and the IRS will expedite any refund in 6-8 weeks. Please note that some taxpayers would realize greater tax relief by waiting to claim the loss on the 2011 return.
Taxpayers should obtain a casualty loss kit, IRS Pub. 2194 (individual) or Pub. 2194B (businesses). The kits are available at FEMA disaster centers, the Tax Department and online at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p2194.pdf for individuals and http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p2194b.pdf for businesses.
VERMONT TAX RELIEF
Tax Returns and Casualty Losses
Vermont will honor the federal extensions when the related Vermont income returns are filed by the October 31 deadline.
Withholding returns and remittances due to Vermont will be extended upon showing hardship. Hardship extensions will be automatically granted where recognized by the IRS or granted on a case by case basis by the Tax Department by calling (802) 828-2551.
Taxpayers electing to take uninsured casualty losses at the federal level may amend their Vermont tax returns to reflect such a loss.
AUGUST SALES & USE and MEALS & ROOM TAX
Vermont relief on remitting the August payment due on September 25 for these trust taxes will extend to those who file the Tax Department’s Certification of Storm Damage. This certification is available online at:
http://www.state.vt.us/tax/pdf.word.excel/forms/2011/SDX-1-Irene.pdf Also, taxpayers may call (802) 828-2551 Option 3 to have a copy mailed to them. Upon completion, these forms may be faxed to (802) 828-5787, emailed to email@example.com, or mailed to the Tax Department.
Vermont will accept remittance of the August payments from directly affected taxpayers without penalty and interest up until October 31st. If the taxpayer additionally attests that necessary business records have been lost, then the Department will accept an estimate based on relevant bank deposits or the equivalent of last year’s August remittance, if applicable. The Department will accept other reasonable estimates on a case by case basis.
Vermont will allow amendment of the August return through January 25, 2012 for those businesses with no penalty if subsequent review of records shows additional tax due.
If your tax return booklet is lost you may use our electronic filing site VTBizFile at https://secure.vermont.gov/bizfile/index to file your return, or you may request a new booklet by mail by calling (802) 828-2551 Option 3.
PREVIOUSLY PAID CIGARETTE AND TOBACCO TAX
Vermont will refund cigarette and tobacco taxes that have been paid on lost or destroyed cigarettes and tobacco products to those who file the Tax Department’s affidavit of destruction attesting to actual damage from Hurricane Irene with records to document the loss. If the taxpayer additionally attests that necessary business records have been lost, then the Department will accept a reasonable estimate of the loss on a case by case basis. The affidavit of destruction is available by calling (802) 828-2551 Option 4.
The Commissioner will grant extension of payment of other miscellaneous state taxes due between August 29 and October 31 to directly affected taxpayers without penalty and interest up until October 31 on a case by case basis. Please call (802) 828-2551 Option 4 for more information.
STATE form EXTENSIONS RELATED TO PROPERTY TAX
Homestead declarations, property tax adjustment claims, renter rebate claims and current use applications due September 1 will be accepted as timely through September 30.
Reconstruction of Records
For proper record keeping, the Tax Department makes the following suggestions as to reconstruction of records. Request or download Bank Statements and Credit Card Statements. Request copies of invoices or statements from your vendors. If your Accountant, Tax Preparer or CPA was not located in an affected area, they may have some of the information you need.
IMPORTANT TELEPHONE NUMBERS
- Individual Income (802) 828-2865 or Toll Free (866) 828-2865
- Corporate Tax (802) 828-5723
- Withholding (802) 828-2551 Option 3
- Sales & Use, Rooms & Meals (802) 828-2551 Option 3
- Property Tax Adjustment (802) 828-2865
- Current Use (802) 828-5860
- Tobacco and Other Miscellaneous Taxes (802) 828-2551 Option 4
- Homestead Declarations (802) 828-2865
IMPORTANT NOTE TO CONTRACTORS
Please note that if you are working in Vermont, you are subject to Vermont’s income, withholding and sales & use tax. Information and an application for establishing a withholding account with the Department can be found at http://www.state.vt.us/tax/pdf.word.excel/forms/business/s-1&instr.pdf Mark your application with “Hurricane Irene” to receive an expedited account. Also, Contractors will be subject to use tax on certain equipment put to use in Vermont. Information and an application for establishing a use account with the Department can be found at http://www.state.vt.us/tax/pdf.word.excel/forms/business/s-1&instr.pdf Mark your application with “Hurricane Irene” to receive an expedited account.
The Tax Department will make every effort to extend this tax relief to affected taxpayers. If you receive a bill or assessment in error, we apologize for the inconvenience. Please call (802) 828-2551 to report any bills or notices you may have received in error.