IRS Expands tax Relief to Irma Victims

The Internal Revenue Service said Monday that Hurricane Irma victims in Florida now have until Jan. 31, 2018, to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments.

The IRS says this includes an additional filing extension for taxpayers with valid extensions that run out on Oct. 16, and businesses with extensions that run out on Sept. 15.

The IRS is now offering this expanded relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as qualifying for either individual assistance or public assistance in Florida.

The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Sept. 4 in Florida. 

As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Jan. 31, 2018, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period.

This includes the Sept. 15, 2017 and Jan. 16, 2018 deadlines for making quarterly estimated tax payments. 

For individual tax filers, it also includes 2016 income tax returns that received a tax-filing extension until Oct. 16 of this year. The IRS noted, however, that because tax payments related to these 2016 returns were originally due on April 18, 2017, those payments are not eligible for this relief.

A variety of business tax deadlines are also affected including the Oct. 31 deadline for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns. 

Businesses with extensions also have the additional time including, among others, calendar-year partnerships whose 2016 extensions run out on Sept. 15 of this year and calendar-year tax-exempt organizations  whose 2016 extensions run out on Nov. 15 of this year.  

In addition, the IRS is waiving late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due during the first 15 days of the disaster period.

The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. 

Thus, taxpayers need not 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.

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