IRS-tax-relief-oil-spillAs the now infamous BP oil spill spreads into its third month, the negative effects of it are not only being felt by the environment but by millions of Americans whose businesses and livelihoods are suffering. With the end nowhere in sight, the Internal Revenue Service, unlike others, is taking action. On Friday, June 25th, the IRS issued multiple new tax guidelines that will help benefit the
taxpayers who are forced to carry this burden.

Currently, under the established law, any payments received from BP for lost wages must be
accounted for when completing taxes while those received for physical injury and
loss of property are not generally taxable.

Information on the new guidelines is laid out in question-and-answer form on the IRS website and includes information on how anyone entitled to BP payments should handle them
when completing taxes. The questions presented provide details on issues such
as casualty loss deductions and establishing decreases in the market value of
property as well.

IRS Commissioner, Doug Shulman, encouraged the public that the IRS will be doing everything
within their power to lessen the strain of the oil spill and urged anyone effected to
contact the IRS to work out a solution. The new effort made by the IRS also
includes a special Gulf Coast Assistance Day that is to be held on July
17th. To help those directly affected by the oil spill, taxpayers will have
the opportunity to work with IRS employees who will help handle any
unanswered questions they may have regarding issues relating to the spill. This day
will be conducted in the following states

  • Louisiana
  • Alabama
  • Mississippi
  • Florida

Additionally, the IRS will also soon be implementing a separate telephone line that will enable those with a question pertaining to the oil spill to connect with an IRS agent
specifically trained on the subject.

If you have any questions or concerns do not hesitate to contact the IRS as they will continue to be sensitive to those forced to account for the unforeseen cost of the oil
spill and provide different options including:

  • Faster release on tax levies
  • Increased flexibility for missed payments
  • Delay of collection activities