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IRS Relief for Taxpayers Affected by Hurricanes

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has declared a number of counties in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia disaster areas due to hurricanes Michael and Florence. Any area declared a major disaster as designated by FEMA qualifies for individual or public assistance. As such, individuals and residing or located in these counties are eligible for tax relief–including an extension to file beyond the October 15 deadline.

Extended deadlines apply to filing returns, paying taxes, and performing certain other time-sensitive acts and taxpayers in these areas receive the extensions automatically.

Furthermore, the IRS will work with any taxpayer (including workers assisting with relief activities with a recognized government or philanthropic organization) who lives outside the disaster area but whose records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period are located in the affected area. Tax relief for taxpayers living outside the disaster area should be aware that tax relief is not automatically granted. Please call the office or contact the IRS directly at 866-562-5227.

The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on October 7, 2018. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until February 28, 2019, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. This means individuals who had a valid extension to file their 2017 return due to run out on October 15, 2018, will now have until February 28, 2019, to file. The IRS noted, however, that because tax payments related to these 2017 returns were due on April 18, 2018, those payments are not eligible for this relief.

The February 28, 2019, deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments due on January 15, 2019, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on October 31, 2018, and January 31, 2019. It also applies to tax-exempt organizations, operating on a calendar-year basis, that had a valid extension due to run out on November 15, 2018. Businesses with extensions also have the additional time including, among others, calendar-year corporations whose 2017 extensions run out on October 15, 2018.

In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after October 7, 2018, and before October 22, 2018, will be abated as long as the deposits are made by October 22, 2018.

Personal casualty losses attributable to certain 2018 federally declared disasters, including Hurricanes Michael and Florence, may be claimed as a qualified disaster loss.