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 ST. PAUL, Minn., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- "The Minnesota Revenue Department is prepared to do its best to provide special service and assistance to Minnesota taxpayers having difficulty meeting their tax obligations due to this summer's flooding," Commissioner Morris Anderson announced today.
 "Gov. Carlson has been a national leader in seeking flood relief of all types for Minnesota victims. He led the charge that influenced President Clinton to double the funding for federal crop disaster relief and continues to urge state agencies to provide flood relief whenever possible," Anderson said.
 "The Minnesota Department of Revenue is ready to do its part. We encourage taxpayers to call us if they have suffered flood loss and are unable to file and pay their taxes on time," Anderson said. "We have created a toll free 'hotline' and the number is 1-800-657-3627."
 The department is also contacting taxpayers who have qualified for federal disaster assistance through the Small Business Administration (SBA). As names are received, these victims are contacted individually by mail advising them of the department's willingness to help with flood-related tax filing and payment problems.
 People who have suffered flood damage and have not applied for federal disaster assistance, but feel they qualify for taxpayer flood relief, must file their tax returns through the department's St. Paul headquarters, 10 River Park Plaza, St. Paul, Minn., 55146. A letter explaining how the flood affected their ability to file or pay must be attached, ensuring individual review.
 If a person has applied for federal disaster relief, but is not yet certain of the outcome, the taxpayer should enclose copies of the application forms. Furthermore, it is not necessary for a person to reside in an officially designated disaster county to apply for state tax flood relief.
 Taxes affected by the initiative include: income, corporate, franchise, estate, withholding, sales, cigarette and tobacco products, and lawful gambling. Those returns or payments due between June 30, 1993 and Oct. 15, 1993 need not be filed or paid until Oct. 15, 1993 in order to avoid late penalties, if the delay is due to flooding; in all cases, abatement of interest will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
 If taxpayers have been working with the department prior to the flooding because of past due taxes and are still unable to settle their delinquent accounts because of flooding, they should call 612-296-3457. The department will look at each case individually in order to avoid revocations and seizures against taxpayers' real and personal property.
 Other considerations include:
 -- property tax -- potential market value reductions due to substantially damaged property should be referred to city and county assessors.
 -- casualty loss -- damaged or destroyed property due to flooding is called a "casualty loss." This may be on home, personal property and household goods and may qualify the taxpayer for a federal and state income tax deduction, if the loss is not covered by insurance. For further information, call the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at 800-TAX-FORM (829-3676) and ask for Publication 547.
 -- copies of tax returns -- by calling the department, taxpayers living in officially declared disaster counties, or who prove to be tax relief eligible, will receive free copies of past tax returns.
 "Our goal is to be fair and understanding to those taxpayers who have suffered from this summer's incredible flood losses," Anderson said. "We can only hope that our efforts will help make their lives a little easier."
 -0- 8/26/93
 /CONTACT: Leslee Ellen Lane of the Minnesota Department of Revenue, 612-296-0193 or 800-657-3595/

CO: Minnesota Department of Revenue ST: Minnesota IN: SU:

AL-DB -- MN008 -- 6192 08/26/93 13:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 26, 1993

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