The Internal Revenue Service will grant a six-month tax filing and payment extension to those affected by the shootings at Virginia Tech.The relief applies to the victims, their families and emergency responders, as well as university students and employees.

The relief will give taxpayers affected by the events until Oct. 15, to file and make payments associated with their 2006 individual tax returns, which were otherwise due April 17. In order to claim the relief, affected taxpayers must call the IRS at (866) 562-5227 and identify themselves, before they file or make payment.

“Taxes are the last thing the Virginia Tech family should be worried about at this time,” said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson, in a statement. “Our hearts go out to the people affected by this tragic event.”

Separately, victims of the major storm that hit several northeastern states this week will have two additional days to file their tax returns beyond the April 17 tax deadline, the IRS said.

Taxpayers directly impacted by the storm have until midnight on April 19 to meet their filing obligations without incurring late filing and payment penalties. Across the northeast, there have been power outages and public transportation problems making it difficult for some taxpayers and tax professionals to meet the April 17 deadline.

Affected taxpayers can mark their paper tax returns with the words, “April 16 Storm.” Taxpayers who e-file their returns can use their software’s “Disaster” feature, if available.

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