Tax deadline extended for those affected by tornadoes

CHICAGO — Residents affected by the Nov. 17 tornadoes in Illinois now have until May 31, 2014, to file any state tax returns due on or after Nov. 15, Gov. Pat Quinn announced Thursday.

"Communities across Illinois should focus on recovery — not deadlines — following the recent severe storms that have devastated so many people," Quinn said. "We want to give families and businesses as much time as they need to get back on their feet."

The extension will help individuals and local businesses struggling to meet customer needs while cleaning up after the storms. Individuals and businesses who normally file quarterly returns won't have to file those returns or payments while trying to recover from the tornadoes, Quinn said.

Taxpayers should file or pay as soon as possible. If filing paper forms by mail, they should write "Tornado — November 2013" in red on the outside of the envelope and on the top of the tax return. To quickly and easily claim disaster relief through MyTax Illinois, residents can log in to their MyTax Illinois account, navigate to the account for which they wish to claim disaster relief, and click "Claim Disaster Relief" under "Account Maintenance" in the left sidebar. From there they can complete and submit the online disaster relief claim request.

Electronic filers, those who do not mail tax documents and who do not use MyTax Illinois, should notify the state Department of Revenue by email at REV.TornadoNov2013@illinois.gov. Affected taxpayers should include their name, account identification number, tax period that is affected, and a brief explanation of why they will be late, along with an estimate of when they believe they can file or pay. Additional information can be found by visiting Tax.Illinois.gov.

Anyone affected by the Nov. 17 tornadoes and severe storms is encouraged to register for federal assistance, said Quinn's office. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which administers the assistance program, has a toll-free telephone number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) (for hearing and speech impaired) to apply for assistance. Registration also can be done online at disasterassistance.gov or by smartphone or tablet at m.fema.gov. The deadline to register for federal disaster aid is Jan. 27, 2014.

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