January 31, 1991
Special Tax Help for Taxpayers in Desert Storm
Although military personnel and others serving in the Operation
Desert Storm combat zone have an automatic extension of time to file
their tax returns, the Internal Revenue Service today gave special
guidance to those who are due tax refunds and want to file early.
Two words -- Desert Storm -- should be written at the top of
their 1990 federal income tax returns and on the envelopes. In
addition, IRS said that any notice issued to these taxpayers
regarding tax collection or examination matters requires no action
other than writing "Desert Storm" on the top of the notice and
returning it to the IRS.
People who represent taxpayers serving in the combat zone and
file tax returns for them also should mark "Desert Storm" on those
returns and any IRS correspondence sent to taxpayers in the combat
Because pending legislation would extend tax relief to
taxpayers who served in, and left, Operation Desert Shield before
the Jan. 17, 1991 combat zone designation, they, too, should write
"Desert Storm" at the top of their tax returns, correspondence and
envelopes sent to IRS.
By writing "Desert Storm" on tax returns, correspondence and
envelopes, IRS will be alerted to taxpayers entitled to tax relief,
including extension of time to file, suspension of all collection
and examination actions and suspension of interest charges on back
To ease tax filing, the IRS announced today that it is
streamlining authorization requirements for people who represent
taxpayers serving in Operation Desert Storm. Normally, IRS requires
a power of attorney form signed by the taxpayer specifying that
federal tax matters can be handled by the person designated on the
form. IRS today said it will accept a general power of attorney or
a statement signed by the taxpayer that authorizes another person to
act on their behalf, even though federal tax matters are not
specified. A copy of the general power of attorney or authorization
statement must be attached to the tax return.
If it is not possible for the spouse of a taxpayer serving in
Operation Desert Storm to obtain a signed authorization, IRS will
accept a written statement explaining that the husband or wife is
serving in the combat zone. This statement must be signed by the
spouse filing the return and attached to the tax return.
Military legal assistance offices will help those who need to
have a power of attorney or substitute authorization signed by
IRS emphasizes that local IRS offices will help spouses and
other people representing taxpayers serving in Operation Desert
Storm in filing tax return, including free electronic filing of
returns in those IRS offices with that capability. IRS will also
provide speakers to groups of taxpayers, including support groups
that are typically made up of family members of taxpayers overseas
in Operation Desert Storm.
IRS encourages taxpayers to call IRS at 1/800/TAX-1040 or visit
their nearest IRS office for help on any federal tax matter.
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