The American Institute of CPAs has asked the Internal Revenue Service to extend the Sept. 15 filing deadline for business tax returns for taxpayers and preparers in areas affected by Hurricane Irene.

The deadly storm ravaged the East Coast over the weekend. Many towns remain underwater or without electricity, or have bridges and other infrastructure severely damaged.

“Many of our members are currently actively engaged in preparation of corporate, pass-through entity and trust tax returns with extended filing deadlines of September 15, 2011,” wrote AICPA Tax Executive Committee chair Patricia Thompson in a letter Tuesday to IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “The provision of these services has been drastically affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. We are hearing reports of members who have limited Internet connectivity and power outages, both at their offices and at their personal residences. Our members have experienced massive transportation disruptions and flooding of their residences and offices. Also we have heard from members who are having difficulty communicating with their taxpayer clients who are located in the affected areas, including difficulty obtaining information necessary to prepare the return.”

The AICPA asked the IRS to use its administrative authority to grant at least a two-week extension of the tax-filing deadline for those in the areas affected by the deadly hurricane. Thompson also asked that any relief apply to situations in which the taxpayer, tax return preparer or the records are located in areas ravaged by the hurricane.

“We understand that the IRS has authority through administrative pronouncement via press release to grant relief for filing deadlines in circumstances such as those being experienced by our members located in affected areas,” she wrote. “We request that the IRS consider a minimum two week extension of the filing deadline only.  We hope that any relief considers factors such as where the taxpayer is located, where the taxpayer’s preparer is located, and where the taxpayer’s records are located. If any of those locations falls within the areas impacted by Hurricane Irene, we request that the relief be extended to those returns.”

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