The Internal Revenue Service said that members of the military and certain civilians providing earthquake relief in Haiti have additional time to file their 2009 returns and pay any taxes due.

Deadlines for taking care of a variety of federal tax matters are automatically extended for persons serving in a combat zone or a contingency operation, such as the Haiti relief effort known as Operation Unified Response. Designated persons providing earthquake relief in Haiti under Operation Unified Response will get the same extensions available to military and support personnel serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other combat zone localities.

This relief applies to members of the military, Red Cross personnel, accredited correspondents, and civilian support personnel acting under the direction of the armed forces. In most cases, the relief also applies to spouses.

Normally, eligible taxpayers have at least 180 days after they leave a combat zone or contingency operation area to take care of various tax-related matters. For Operation Unified Response and the Haiti earthquake, these tax-related matters include filing a 2009 federal income tax return, paying taxes due for 2009, making a 2009 IRA contribution, and making a quarterly estimated tax payment for 2010.

The exact deadline depends on when an eligible taxpayer went to Haiti, when he or she left Haiti, and the tax matter involved. These extensions are penalty-free and interest-free.  No form needs to be filed.

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