Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Fire Takes Heat Off Taxpayers.

Byline: Leslie Linthicum and Aaron Baca Journal Staff Writers

IRS Lets Residents in 21 N.M. Counties File in Jan.

New Mexicans in 21 counties better than 8 in 10 state residents don't have to figure, file and pay income taxes this year.

Your friendly Internal Revenue Service has granted a reprieve on those 2000 tax year obligations until early 2002. You'll still owe, but not until then, and that could be a boon to some taxpayers.

No interest. No penalties. No joke.

It's all thanks to the Cerro Grande Fire.

It was the massive Cerro Grande Fire blazing out of control in the Jemez Mountains last summer that sparked an IRS decision to offer temporary tax relief in the form of a penalty-free filing extension until Jan. 16, 2002.

The IRS also broadened the offer to residents not just of Los Alamos but of all the 21 New Mexico counties deemed federal disaster areas due to wildfires last year. …

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