Due to severity of March storms, new filing date is May 11

FREEHOLD, NJ – Monmouth County residents and businesses have been granted a tax-filing extension now that the county has been designated a federal disaster area due to the March storms.

President Obama has declared Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, and Union counties federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance. Therefore, the tax-filing deadlines have been postponed until May 11.

This includes the April 15 deadline for filing 2009 individual income tax returns, making income tax payments and making 2009 contributions to individual retirement accounts (IRA). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will also waive the failure-to-deposit penalties for employment and excise deposits due on or after March 12 and on or before March 29, as long as the deposits were made by March 29.

Additionally, taxpayers affected by the storms now have until May 11, 2010 to file their 2009 New Jersey tax returns such as individual income tax, corporation business tax, sales tax, inheritance tax, estate tax, partnership and other business taxes administered by the state Division of Taxation and to submit payments for any return or payment.

If the IRS further extends the filing deadline for federal tax purposes, the deadline for New Jersey returns and payments will also be extended.

Details about specific tax issues and the extended filing dates can be found on the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov and the New Jersey Division of Taxation Web site at www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation.

The IRS toll-free number for general tax questions is 1-800-829-1040. The state Division of Taxation phone number is 609-826-4400 or 1-800-323-4400 (within NJ, NY, PA, DE and MD).

“The March storms have caused significant damage throughout Monmouth County,” Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry said. “Residents who are reeling from this disaster can take the extra time to get their financial matters in order.”

Burry also recommends that residents affected by the storms should report any storm damage directly to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as soon as possible.

To assist residents with storm issues and disaster recovery, FEMA established a Disaster Recovery Center at the Monmouth County Park System’s Henry Hudson Trail Activity Center at 945 Route 36 in the Leonardo section of Middletown. The office is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The center is closed on Sundays.

FEMA said residents and business owners who sustained losses can also register by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or for the speech or hearing impaired TTY 1-800-462-7585, or online anytime at www.disasterassistance.gov. These toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, until further notice.

The center is staffed by FEMA with access to resources provided by the Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management and the Monmouth County Department of Human Services.

Once a claim is made, inspectors will come to the home to view the damage. Inspectors will wear approved FEMA identification badges that include the inspector’s name and photo, and the name of the company under contract with FEMA.

The will ask information to verify a claimant’s name, address and registration with FEMA. They will not ask for a Social Security number nor ask to be paid for an inspection. All inspections are free and take between 30 and 40 minutes.

Businesses and nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to help make improvements that will prevent or minimize similar disasters in the future.

For small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether a business suffered property damage.

“It is strongly urged that people whose home or business sustained storm damage make the call now and get into the FEMA system,” said Freeholder John P. Curley, liaison to the Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management. “It is the first step toward recovery.”

Residents may be eligible for assistance through grants for temporary housing, home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.