The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that Hurricane Irma victims in the entire state of Georgia now have until January 31, 2018, to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments (source: IR-2017-156). The announcement parallels relief previously granted to Irma victims throughout Florida and in parts of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and Harvey victims in parts of Texas.
Here’s what the relief entails: tax filing and payment deadlines which began starting on September 7, 2017, will be pushed off until January 31, 2018. That means that returns and payments that were originally due during this period, including the September 15, 2017, and January 16, 2018, deadlines for making quarterly estimated tax payments, will now be January 31, 2018. This includes individual returns on extension, businesses with extensions that ran out on Friday, September 15, 2017, and tax-exempt organizations on extension. Remember, however, that the extensions were an extension of the time to file, not the time to pay, so payments for 2016 tax returns are still keyed to the April 18, 2017, due date.
Relief also includes a waiver of 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. That means that taxpayers do not need to contact the IRS to get this relief. However, if you receive a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS and were entitled to relief, you should call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.
The IRS will work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area but whose records are located in the affected area. Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area need to contact the IRS at 1.866.562.5227. This includes those workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or charitable organization.
The relief extends to tax professionals who, due to the disaster, are unable to meet a tax-filing or payment deadline for their clients who live or are located outside the disaster area.
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). You can find more on casualty losses here.
For additional details on available tax relief, check out the disaster relief page on IRS.gov. For information on government-wide efforts related to Hurricane Irma, please visit www.USA.gov/hurricane-irma.
For more details on how you can help following Hurricane Harvey, click here. For information about how charitable efforts might be different following Hurricane Irma, click here.