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Tax Help for Texas, Massachusetts Tragedies


 A new day: sunrise over the Charles River in Boston.

The United States was rocked by two tragedies last week: the Boston Marathon bombing and the fertilizer plant explosion in McLennan County, Texas. State departments of revenue can offer little comfort in the face of tragedy, but they can provide a bit of relief. That’s exactly what the Texas Comptroller and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue are doing.

In Massachusetts:

“Suffolk County residents and all Massachusetts personal income tax filers impacted by the violence will have until July 15, 2013 to file any returns, extensions or estimated payments that are otherwise normally due on April 16, 2013.”

“Business and corporate taxpayers directly impacted by the explosions will also have an additional three months to file returns that were due April 16.  … If they are unable to file and/or make [withholding and sales/use and meals tax] payments because of impacts from the tragic events of April 15, they can seek an abatement for the late filing and late payment penalties.”

In Texas:

“[T]axpayers in McLennan County affected by the fertilizer plant explosion in  West can postpone paying state taxes while they recover from the devastation.” Extensions up to 90 days are available.

A number of sales tax exemptions are being offered to help with the recovery. These include:

  • Cost of labor to repair damage caused by the explosion to non-residential property. It must be separately stated on the invoice;
  • Services used to restore damaged property;
  • Charges for cutting trees damaged by the explosion;
  • Purchases made with vouchers or debit cards provided by relief organizations such as the Red Cross.

Additional information is available at the Texas Comptroller and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

We offer our deepest condolences for all affected by the tragedies.

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photo credit: slack12 via photopin cc


Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.