IRS Issues Extensions for Hurricane Harvey Victims

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Businesses and individuals impacted by Hurricane Harvey in 18 Texas counties will get tax-filing and payment extensions, the IRS has announced.

Residents and owners in the Texas counties of Aransas, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Harris, Jackson, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria and Wharton will have a variety of extensions for deadlines that began Aug. 23. This includes the Sept. 15 and Jan. 16, 2018 deadlines for quarterly estimated tax payments.

For individual tax filers, it also includes 2016 income tax returns that received a tax-filing extension until Oct. 16. However, tax payments related to 2016 returns that were originally due on April 18 won’t be eligible for the relief.

A variety of business tax deadlines are also affected including the Oct. 31 deadline for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns. The IRS also is waiving late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due on or after Aug. 23 and before Sept. 7, if the deposits are made by Sept. 7.

Businesses with extensions that run out on Sept. 15 also are included in the relief plan. Details on available relief can be found on the IRS's disaster relief page.

"This has been a devastating storm, and the IRS will move quickly to provide tax relief to hurricane victims," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a prepared statement. "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."

The current relief plan is applicable to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that qualifies for individual assistance. Taxpayers in areas added later to the disaster zone will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief.

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 don’t have to contact the IRS to get this relief.

However, if an affected taxpayer receives a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS that has an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date falling within the postponement period, the taxpayer should call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.

In addition, the IRS will work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area but whose records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period are located in the affected area. Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227. This also includes workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization.

Individuals and businesses who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on either the return for the year the loss occurred (in this instance, the 2017 return normally filed next year), or the return for the prior year (2016).

About Terry Sheridan

Terry Sheridan

Terry Sheridan is an award-winning journalist who has covered real estate, mortgage finance, health care, insurance, personal finance, and accounting and taxation issues for newspapers, magazines, and websites. A Chicago native and former South Florida resident, she now lives in New England.

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