Carolinas’ Coast Line Recovers From Hurricane Florence, As Storm Continues To Pour Heavy Rain On The States2018 Getty Images
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced tax relief for victims of Hurricane Florence. Those in North Carolina who have been affected by the storm have until January 31, 2019, to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments. This includes an additional filing extension for taxpayers with valid extensions through October 15, and businesses with extensions through September 17.
Relief is available for taxpayers in any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance. Currently, this only includes parts of North Carolina, but taxpayers in areas added later to the disaster area, including those in other states, will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief. The current list of eligible localities is always available on the disaster relief page on the IRS website. I’ll also update the list of affected counties here as information is made available.
Here’s what the relief entails: Most tax filing and payment deadlines which began starting on September 7, 2018, will be pushed off until January 31, 2019. That means that returns and payments that were originally due during this period, including the September 17, 2018, deadlines for making quarterly estimated tax payments, will now be January 31, 2019. This also includes returns on extension. Remember, however, that extensions are an extension of the time to file, not the time to pay, so payments for 2017 tax returns are still keyed to the April 17, 2018 due date.
Relief also includes a waiver of late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due on or after September 7, 2018. The IRS is waiving late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due on or after September 7, 2018, and before September 24, 2018, so long as the deposits are made by September 24, 2018.
The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. That means that taxpayers do not need to contact the IRS to get this relief. However, if you receive a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS and were entitled to relief, you should call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.
The IRS will work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area but whose records are located in the affected area. Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area need to contact the IRS at 1.866.562.5227. This includes those workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or charitable organization.
Individuals and businesses who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on the return for the year the loss occurred – in this instance, the 2018 return normally filed next year – or the return for the prior year (2017). However, remember that the deduction for personal casualty and theft losses has been repealed for the tax years 2018 through 2025 except for those losses attributable to a federal disaster as declared by the President. For more on casualty losses after a disaster, click here.
For more details on available tax relief, you can also check out the disaster relief page on IRS.gov. For information on government-wide efforts related to disaster recovery, visit disasterassistance.gov.
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