Tax Relief for Hurricane Harvey and Irma Victims

by M. Robinson & Company, P.C.
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The IRS is offering tax relief for taxpayers affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. This relief is automatic for those taxpayers located in designated disaster areas. These areas include Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and parts of Texas. In general, the IRS is providing extensions until January 31, 2018 for certain filing of returns and payments of taxes due. For instance:

Individual and Business Returns on Extension

Those taxpayers who had/have valid extensions for either their individual returns or their business returns, now have until January 31, 2018 to file their returns. The extension date for business returns was September 15, 2017 and the individual returns extension date is October 16, 2017. This relief does not include an extension for payment of any tax liabilities owed on 2016 returns, since the payments were due on April 18, 2017.

Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments

Quarterly estimated tax payments due on September 15, 2017 and January 16, 2018 are not due until January 31, 2018.

Quarterly Payroll and Excise Tax Returns

Quarterly payroll and excise tax returns that were due on October 31, 2017 are now due on January 31, 2018. Additionally, the IRS has stated it will waive late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due within the first 15 days of the disaster period.

Taxpayers with Tax Records Located in an Affected Area

There may be tax relief for those taxpayers who are not located in a designated disaster area, but whose tax records are located there. However, this tax relief is not automatic. Taxpayers who believe they qualify should contact the IRS at 866-562-5227 to obtain relief. Relief workers affiliated with recognized government or philanthropic organizations should also contact this number.

A Word About IRS Notices: While the IRS has generally stated the relief is automatic for those taxpayers with addresses in the designated areas and that those taxpayers do not need to contact the IRS, the IRS has been known to make mistakes. Taxpayers may wish to include a statement with their return that they are eligible for tax relief because they are located in a designated area, possibly including one of the IRS relief announcements relative to their area.

If an eligible taxpayer erroneously receives a penalty and interest notice from the IRS, call the number on the notice immediately to have the penalty abated. It is a best practice to keep good records and very helpful to have copies of the IRS tax relief announcements with your returns to make the conversation with the IRS quick and effective.

For more information, see the IRS Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Businesses.

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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