Tax Relief for Victims of Terrorist Attacks

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The Victims of Terrorism Tax Relief Act of 2001 provides tax relief for those injured or killed as a result of terrorist attacks, certain survivors of those killed as a result of terrorist attacks, and others who were affected by terrorist attacks. The Act does the following:
  1. Forgives Federal income tax liabilities of individuals who die as a result of:
    • The April 19, 1995 attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building (Oklahoma City),
    • The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States,
    • The terrorist attacks involving anthrax occurring after September 10, 2001, and before January 1, 2002, or
    • A terrorist attack directed against the United States or its allies on or after September 11, 2001, if the individual was a civilian or military employee of the United States.
  2. Provides for the tax-free treatment of the following types of income:
    • Qualified disaster relief payments made after September 10, 2001, to cover personal, family, living, or funeral expenses incurred because of a terrorist attack.
    • Certain disability payments received in tax years ending after September 10, 2001, for injuries sustained in a terrorist attack.
    • Certain death benefits paid by an employer to the survivor of an employee because the employee died as a result of a terrorist attack.
    • Debt cancellation made after September 10, 2001, and before January 1, 2002, if the debts were cancelled because an individual died as a result of the September 11 attacks or anthrax attacks.
    • Payments from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001.
  3. Allows the IRS to postpone for up to 1 year certain tax deadlines of taxpayers who are affected by terrorist attacks.
  4. Reduces the estate tax of individuals who die as a result of the Oklahoma City terrorist attack, the September 11th terrorist attacks, and the anthrax attacks.
If you need assistance, call the IRS at 1-866-562-5227 Monday through Friday between the hours of:
  • 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time.

Refer to Publication 3920, Tax Relief for Victims of Terrorist Attacks, or visit our website at for additional information. For information on the necessary documents needed to file a claim and where to file the claim, refer to How to Claim Tax Forgiveness, in Publication 3920 and Rev. Proc. 2004-26/2004-1a I.R.B 890.

Note: If you sold your home due to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack or other unforeseen circumstance, you may qualify for a reduced maximum exclusion on the sale of your home even if you owned and lived in the property for less than 2 years. Refer to , Selling Your Home for additional information.


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