Tax Filers Get Extra Week From IRS

The Internal Revenue Service on Friday said it would allow tax filers affected by the power blackout in the U.S. Northeast an extra week to file or make payments.

"We recognize that individuals and businesses will need time to recover after the power is restored, which is why we are granting this additional time," IRS Commissioner Mark Everson said in a statement.

The IRS said it will consider as "timely" tax returns or payments due from Friday through Aug. 22 so long as they are made by Aug. 22. The IRS also said it will waive penalties on employment or excise tax deposits due if they are made by Aug. 22.

The move should be a boon to procrastinators who are crowding the last minute of the deadline to file their taxes. The IRS says more than 8.5 million taxpayers opted in April for an automatic extension that expires Friday.

The IRS said individuals and businesses in the blackout area, or whose tax records are in the outage area, are eligible for the break. It advised tax filers to write "NORTHEAST BLACKOUT" in red letters at the top of their return to qualify for the extra time.

While taxpayers have some extra time to file, the IRS said the law does not permit reducing interest due on overdue taxes.