IRS Grants Tax Relief to Hurricane Irma Victims in Florida
On Tuesday, September 12, 2017, the IRS announced (IR 2017-150) that taxpayers in parts of Florida impacted by Hurricane Irma will now have until January 31, 2018, to file various tax returns and make certain tax payments. The tax relief parallels the relief granted last month to victims of Hurricane Harvey, see our prior tax alert. The special tax relief includes, for individual taxpayers with valid extensions through October 16, and business taxpayers with extensions through September 15, additional time to file the tax returns that were otherwise due. In addition to the Federal tax relief granted, we expect states to offer similar filing and tax payment relief to taxpayers impacted by Hurricane Irma.
Counties Eligible for Relief
The IRS is offering tax relief, more fully discussed below, to any area the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designated as qualifying for individual assistance. Currently, parts of Florida, Puerto Rico (municipalities of Culebra and Vieques), and the U.S. Virgin Islands are eligible for special tax relief. Taxpayers in localities added later to the disaster area, including those in other states, will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief. We will update the list of affected counties as more information becomes available. At this time, the following Florida counties automatically qualify for tax relief:
- Palm Beach
- St. Johns
Summary of ReliefThe IRS will automatically provide filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in a disaster area. Therefore, taxpayers do not need to contact the IRS to receive the special tax relief. If a 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.
The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines occurring on or after September 4, 2017. Taxpayers will have until January 31, 2018, to file most returns and pay taxes for:
These taxes must have either an original or extended due date occurring on or after September 4, 2017, and before January 31, 2018. Tax relief is also granted for quarterly estimated income tax payments originally due on September 15, 2017, and January 16, 2018. The deadline for making these quarterly estimated payments is now January 31, 2018. For individual taxpayers, this includes 2016 income tax returns on valid extension, i.e., October 16, 2017. However, the IRS noted that because the 2016 individual income tax payments related to these returns were originally due on April 18, 2017, payments for such taxes are not eligible for relief.
The tax relief also includes the filing of Form 550 series returns. However, the extension of time to file and pay does not apply to information returns in the W-2, 1094, 1095, 1097, 1098 or 1099 series, to Forms 1042-S, 3921, 3922, 8025, or 8027, or to employment and excise tax deposits. However, penalties on deposits due on or after September 4, 2017, and before September 19, 2017, will be abated as long as the tax deposits are made by September 19, 2017.