IRS Provides Hurricane Tax Relief

The IRS has moved back the deadlines for filing tax returns and making payments for taxpayers affected by either Hurricane Harvey or Irma who have either an original or extended due date falling on or after the onset date of the disaster. Affected taxpayers will have until January 31, 2018 to file most tax returns, including individual, estate, trust, partnership, C corporation, and S corporation income tax returns; estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax returns; and employment and certain excise tax returns; or to make tax payments, including estimated tax payments.

Affected Taxpayers

Affected taxpayers include:

  • Any individual whose principal residence, and any business entity whose principal place of business, is located in the counties designated as disaster areas
  • Any individual who is a relief worker assisting in a covered disaster area, regardless of whether he is affiliated with recognized government or philanthropic organizations
  • Any individual whose principal residence, and any business entity whose principal place of business, is not located in a covered disaster area, but whose records necessary to meet a filing or payment deadline are maintained in a covered disaster area
  • Any estate or trust that has tax records necessary to meet a filing or payment deadline in a covered disaster area, and
  • Any spouse of an affected taxpayer, solely with regard to a joint return of the husband and wife.

IRS is offering filing and payment relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for Individual Assistance. Currently the affected areas include:

  • In U.S. Virgin Islands: The islands of St. John and St. Thomas.
  • In Puerto Rico: The municipalities of Culebra, Vieques, Canóvanas and Loíza.
  • In Florida: All 67 counties.
  • In Georgia: All 159 counties.
  • In Texas: Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller and Wharton counties.

How to Apply for Relief

The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies automatic filing and payment relief. But if you are an affected taxpayer and you receive a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS that has an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date that falls within the postponement period, call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS remove the penalty. Affected taxpayers who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area must call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 to request this tax relief.

About the Author

Ben is a Principal in the Tax Advisory Group (TAG) of HBK and works in the Youngstown, OH office. He has been with the firm since 2009 and has focused extensively on entity tax issues, entity planning, and flow-through taxation. Additionally, he has experience with many of our real estate and manufacturing clients.

As a member of TAG, Ben frequently teaches tax-related training courses both internally for the firm and externally for clients and the public. Ben provides research and expert counsel on complex tax issues for our clients. He also regularly appears on the mid-day news broadcast of Youngstown's NBC affiliate station in a segment called “Smart Money,” which highlights personal financial planning tips.

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