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Snowbound ND taxpayers get break from IRS

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The state's tax commissioner says his office will still be open until 9 p.m. today, and will be flexible throughout the week after a record-setting snowstorm caused most state government employees to stay home today - the last day to file taxes.

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Cory Fong said Monday afternoon from the Capitol the department will waive late penalties this week and are encouraging people to contact his office if they are struggling to get them filed.

"We are aware of the challenges the taxpayers are facing, trying to dig out from the storm that caught us a little off guard, which is what they are worried about," he said. "We have had contact from taxpayers and are going to be working with them. We understand there may be some that miss today's deadline."

He said the department will take returns postmarked through the end of the week, though he didn't want to put a deadline on the extension, and if taxpayers are hit with penalties by the federal government, they should call the tax department to work through the issues, he said.

"We're waiving the penalty and interest for good cause, assuming they'll make a good faith effort to get them in," he said about late tax

statements.

A small tax department staff will be available until 9 tonight.

Taxpayers can call 701-328-1247 and find more information on the office of the tax commissioner's website, www.ND.gov/tax.

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., today announced that the Internal Revenue Service has agreed to extend the deadline and waive penalties for filing tax returns in North Dakota.

The IRS says people who can't meet the deadline because of the storm still must file "within a reasonable time," after transportation problems and power outages have been resolved.

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