Hurricane Irma Client Alert: Tax Filing, Payment Deadlines Extended for Victims in Disaster Areas

Morgan Lewis

Morgan Lewis

Victims of Hurricane Irma located in areas designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as qualifying for individual assistance now have until January 31, 2018 to file certain federal tax returns and make certain federal tax payments.

As part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by Hurricane Irma and paralleling the relief previously extended to victims of Hurricane Harvey, on September 12, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced in a news release (IRS New Release 2017-150) that for certain taxpayers it would postpone various individual and business federal tax return filing and payment deadlines that were to occur on or after (1) September 4, 2017 for taxpayers in Florida and (2) September 5, 2017 for taxpayers in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands until January 31, 2018. The extension applies to taxpayers located in areas designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance.[1] Any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located within a designated disaster area will automatically receive the extension. If, however, an affected taxpayer receives a late filing or late payment penalty notice that has a filing, payment, or deposit due date falling within the extension period, the taxpayer must contact the number provided in the notice to have the penalty abated. Taxpayers in areas that are later added by FEMA as qualifying for individual assistance will also automatically receive the extension. Taxpayers who are located outside of a designated area but have the necessary records to meet deadlines located in the designated area may qualify for the extension, but must contact the IRS to determine eligibility for relief.

For qualifying individuals, the extension covers 2016 income tax returns that received tax filing extensions until October 16, 2017; however, tax payments associated with these returns are not eligible for the extension because the payments were originally due on April 18, 2017. The extension also covers the September 15, 2017 and January 16, 2018 deadlines for making quarterly estimated tax payments. For qualifying businesses, the extension applies to the October 31, 2017 deadline for filing quarterly payroll and excise tax returns. Notably, the IRS will waive late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits that would normally be due during the first 15 days of the disaster period. Additionally, businesses that received filing extensions have additional time to file, including calendar-year partnerships with 2016 extensions that end on September 15, 2017 and calendar-year tax-exempt organizations with 2016 extensions that end on November 15, 2017. Additional information on other possible return or payment actions that may qualify for the extension is available on the IRS disaster relief page.

[1] As of September 12, 2017, parts of Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands were eligible for the relief. The most up-to-date list of qualifying localities is on the IRS disaster relief page


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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