At least taxpayers in Florida and other areas affected by Hurricane Irma won’t have to worry about meeting tax return deadlines until next year.
The IRS has just announced that taxpayers who had obtained 2016 filing extensions to October 16, 2016 will now have until January 31, 2018 to meet their obligations (IR-2017-150, 9/12/17). The same holds true for businesses with return extensions due on September 15, 2016. This relief is comparable to the leniency granted to victims of Hurricane Harvey last month.
"This has been a devastating storm for the Southeastern part of the country, and the IRS will move quickly to provide tax relief for victims, just as we did following Hurricane Harvey," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a press release. "The IRS will continue to closely monitor the storm's aftermath, and we anticipate providing additional relief for other affected areas in the near future."
Tax relief is available to residents of any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance. Currently, parts of Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are eligible, but taxpayers in localities that are added to the disaster area later on, including residents in other states, will automatically receive the same filing and payment benefits.
The IRS has also postponed various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on September 4, 2017 in Florida and September 5, 2017 in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until January 31, 2018 to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period.
This includes the September 15, 2017 and the January 16, 2018 deadlines for making quarterly estimated tax payments. Notably, it also includes taxpayers who received a filing extension for a 2016 return until October 16, 2017. Caveat: Because tax payments related to 2016 returns were initially due on April 18, 2017 – and it’s an extension to file, not pay tax – any required tax payments aren’t eligible for this relief.
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A variety of business tax deadlines are affected, including those facing the October 31, 2017 deadline for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns. Businesses with extensions also have the additional time including, among others, calendar-year partnerships with 2016 extensions that run out on September 15, 2017 and calendar-year tax-exempt organizations with 2016 extensions that expire on November 15, 2017.
The disaster relief page, www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-relief-in-disaster-situations, contains details on other returns, payments and tax-related actions qualifying for the extra time.
Finally, the IRS has promised to work with taxpayers who live outside the disaster area, but have records vital for meeting deadlines located in the affected area. Taxpayers in this group -- Including workers assisting the relief activities affiliated with a recognized government or charitable organization -- should contact the IRS at 866-562-5227.
About Ken Berry
Ken Berry, Esq., is a nationally known writer and editor specializing in tax, financial, and legal matters. During his long career, he has served as managing editor of a publisher of content-based marketing tools and vice president of an online continuing education company. As a freelance writer, Ken has authored thousands of articles for a wide variety of newsletters, magazines, and other periodicals.