Alfred A Cohen, CPA

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The IRS is giving the relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as qualifying for individual assistance. Parts of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are currently eligible, but taxpayers in localities added later to the disaster area, including those in other states, will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief

The tax relief delays several tax filing and payment deadlines that happened starting on Sept. 4, 2017 in Florida and Sept. 5, 2017 in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will get until Jan. 31, 2018, to file their tax returns and pay any taxes that originally came due during that period.

That includes both the Sept. 15, 2017 and Jan. 16, 2018 deadlines for making quarterly estimated tax payments. For individual tax filers, it also encompasses 2016 income tax returns that got a tax-filing extension until Oct. 16, 2017. The IRS pointed out, though, that because tax payments stemming from the 2016 returns originally came due on April 18, 2017, those payments aren’t eligible for this type of relief.

Several business tax deadlines are also impacted, including the Oct. 31 deadline for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns. Businesses with extensions also get more time including, among others, calendar-year partnerships whose 2016 extensions end on Sept. 15, 2017 The disaster relief page includes details on other returns, payments and tax-related actions that are eligible for the extra time.

On top of that, the IRS is waiving late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits typically due during the first 15 days of the disaster period. The IRS.gov disaster relief page spells out the time periods applicable for each jurisdiction.

 

The IRS noted that it automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. Therefore, taxpayers don’t need to contact the IRS to get the relief. But if affected taxpayers get a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS that has an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date happening during the postponement period, they should dial the phone number on the notice to ask the IRS to abate the penalty.

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