Drake Software blog for tax pros, covering tax, IRS news, and more

IRS Extends Relief to Hurricane Florence Victims

IRS Extends Relief to Hurricane Florence Victims

The Internal Revenue Service has announced relief measures now available to taxpayers impacted by Hurricane Florence. The relief is available to taxpayers living or doing business in the area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance.

That area currently includes only parts of North Carolina, but could be expanded as the storm’s impact is fully known. The current list of eligible localities is available on the disaster relief page of the IRS website.

The announcement basically delays deadlines for filing certain individual and business tax returns and making certain tax payments until Jan. 31, 2019, for qualifying businesses and taxpayers.

This includes quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Sept. 17, 2018, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Sept. 30, 2018. Businesses with extensions also have the additional time including, among others, calendar-year partnerships whose 2017 extensions run out on Sept. 17, 2018. Taxpayers who had a valid extension to file their 2017 return due to run out on Oct. 15, 2018 will also have more time to file.

In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after Sept. 7, 2018, and before Sept. 24, 2018, will be abated as long as the deposits are made by Sept. 24, 2018.

The IRS disaster relief page has details on other returns, payments and tax-related actions qualifying for the additional time.

No Need to Apply

IRS filing and penalty relief for qualified taxpayers is automatic; there’s no need to contact the IRS to apply or check eligibility. The address on the return will show if the taxpayer or business is in a qualified area for the relief.

However, if a qualified taxpayer or business gets a notice from the IRS about late filing or late payment with a penalty deadline falling within the postponement period, they can call the number on the letter to have the penalty abated.

Taxpayers who live outside the disaster area but whose records needed to meet a filing deadline are located in the disaster area should call the IRS at 866-562-5227. The IRS will work with those taxpayers to work out a solution. This includes relief and rescue workers assisting the operations in the disaster area who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization.

 Storm victims within a federally declared disaster area who suffer uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can chose the claim them on the return for the year the loss occurred, or the return for the prior year. For more details, check out IRS Publication 547, Casualties, Disasters and Thefts.


Bob Williams

Forget genes; I’ve got words in my DNA. Communication has been part of who I am nearly all my life. From a long career in radio news to another one in newspapers – and a University of Georgia journalism degree sandwiched between the two – language has been my life. I’ve also been fortunate to have learned the tax business from the ground up here at Drake, starting with 1040.com online forms some years ago before moving on to work on the Web. In all things tax-ish, we aim to give you tools you can use.