IRS Announces Hurricane Irma Extensions

Hurricane Irma victims in parts of Florida and elsewhere have until January 31, 2018 to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments. This includes an additional filing extension for taxpayers with valid extensions that run out on October 16, and businesses with extensions that run out September 15.

The IRS is offering this relief to any area designated by the FEMA as qualifying for individual assistance; currently includes Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, Duval, Flagler, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Putnam, Sarasota and St. Johns Counties. Parts of Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are currently eligible, but taxpayers in localities added later to the disaster area, including other states, will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief. You can go to the Disaster Relief page at irs.gov for more information; https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-relief-in-disaster-situations

The tax relief postpones 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 have until January 31, 2018 to file and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period.

This includes the September 15 and January 16 deadlines for quarterly estimated tax payments (for Form 1040). Please note that because your 2016 individual tax was technically due on April 18, 2017, that those payments are not eligible for this relief – you can file late (Jan. 31 instead of Oct. 15) and not receive a late filing penalty, but you will still receive the late payment penalty if it turns out that you owe.

Businesses should refer to the IRS Disaster Relief page or contact your licensed tax practitioner because a variety of tax returns and tax deposits are affected. Of major concern and relief, the corporate, partnership, tax exempt, quarterly payroll and excise tax returns are extended.

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. Check out the Disaster Relief page for the time periods that apply to each jurisdiction. If you are able to make these deposits we strongly advised that you do so as soon as you are able because if you get behind the bills just pile up and can become a crippling liability. In our industry we say, “It’s the easiest loan to take out, and the hardest to pay back.”

The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. You do not need to contact the IRS to get this relief. If you receive a Notice pertaining to a filing or deposit affected by this relief you should call the number on the Notice to have the penalty abated.

Keep all records of expenditures related to your Irma related repairs for the Casualty Loss claim on your 2017 tax returns. Unfortunately the cost of evacuating does not qualify as replacement. Form more information see IRS Publication 547; Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts available here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p547.pdf and pay special attention to the “main home in disaster area,” part on page 11/18.

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