The Internal Revenue Service said Monday that all empowerment zone designations remained in effect through the end of 2014.

Empowerment zones are certain urban and rural areas where employers and other taxpayers qualify for special tax incentives. The announcement primarily affects businesses that would benefit from claiming the tax incentives for empowerment zones on their 2014 returns, either original or amended.

The IRS issued Notice 2015-26 in March to address the relevant provision of the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014. The notice provided that any nomination for an empowerment zone in effect on Dec. 31, 2013, will have a new termination date of Dec. 31, 2014, unless the governing state or municipality declined the extension in a notification to the IRS.

The deadline for notification was May 11, 2015, and no state or municipality contacted the IRS to decline the extension. Therefore, all empowerment zone designations in effect on Dec. 31, 2013, remain in effect through Dec. 31, 2014.

Congress created Empowerment Zones in 1993. Most zones had an expiration date of Dec. 31, 2009. This is the third extension of the expiration date.

The designation for the District of Columbia enterprise zone ended on Dec. 31, 2011.

For more information and complete lists of empowerment zone locations, see Form 8844, Empowerment Zone Employment Credit.

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