Haiti Relief Workers Qualify for Combat Zone Extension

The federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that members of the military and certain civilians providing earthquake relief in Haiti have additional time to file their 2009 returns and pay any taxes due.

Deadlines for taking care of a variety of federal tax matters are automatically extended for persons serving in a combat zone or a contingency operation. Operation Unified Response is a contingency operation, thus giving designated persons providing earthquake relief in Haiti the same extensions that are available to military and support personnel serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other combat zone localities.

The relief applies to members of the military, Red Cross personnel, accredited correspondents, and civilian support personnel acting under the direction of the Armed Forces. In most cases, the relief also applies to spouses.

Eligible taxpayers have at least 180 days after they leave the combat zone or contingency operation area to take care of various tax-related matters. For Operation Unified Response and the Haiti earthquake, these tax-related matters include:

  • Filing a 2009 federal income tax return
  • Paying tax due for 2009
  • Making a 2009 IRA contribution, and
  • Making a quarterly estimated tax payment for 2010

The exact deadline depends on when an eligible taxpayer went to Haiti, when he or she left Haiti, and the tax matter involved. See page 24 of federal Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide, for information on the length of the extension. This publication is available from the IRS website at: www.irs.gov.

Wisconsin Extension

The federal extension provisions for members of the military and certain civilians providing earthquake relief in Haiti also apply for Wisconsin.

The 2009 Wisconsin income tax return will be due at the same time as the 2009 federal return. Persons who qualify for this extension of time to file will not be subject to interest during the extension period on any amount that may be due with the return. When filing the 2009 Wisconsin return, fill in “02” in the Special Conditions box on page 1 of the Form 1 or 1A.

The extension for making a 2009 IRA contribution and for making a quarterly estimated tax payment for 2010 also applies for Wisconsin. Underpayment interest will not be charged during the extension period for making quarterly estimated tax payments.

April 20, 2010