Tax Relief for Hurricane Victims

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has announced that the IRS will “move quickly to provide tax relief” to the victims of the hurricanes that recently ravaged Texas as well as various states and territories of the southeastern United States. Payment and filing deadlines have already been pushed back for 18 counties in Texas that were hit by Hurricane Harvey as well as 16 Florida counties, two Puerto Rican municipalities and several islands that were damaged by Hurricane Irma. According to Commissioner Koskinen, the IRS will continue to assess the damage caused by these two storms and may implement tax relief measures for other areas as additional data is received.

The following is a list of the tax relief measures that have already been implemented:

Texas

  • Any tax filing or tax payment deadline that occurred after August 23, 2017 has now been moved to January 31, 2018.  This includes personal and business income tax returns on extension as well as quarterly estimated tax payments that were originally due on September 15, 2017 and January 16, 2018.

  • Late deposit penalties will be waived for deposits of federal payroll taxes and federal excise taxes due on or after October 31, 2017. Penalties were also waived for deposits of federal payroll taxes and federal excise taxes that were due on or after August 23rd and before September 7th as long as the deposits were made by September 7th.

Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

  • Any tax filing or tax payment deadline that occurred after September 4, 2017 in Florida and September 5, 2017 in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands has now been moved to January 31, 2018.  This tax relief measure includes quarterly estimated tax payments that were originally due on September 15, 2017 and January 16, 2018 as well as business and personal income tax returns for which an extension had been filed.

  • Late deposit penalties will be waived for deposits of federal payroll taxes and federal excise taxes that were due during the first 15 days of the officially designated disaster period.

It should be noted that any taxpayer who has an address of record in any of the officially designated disaster areas will automatically receive the IRS tax relief measures described above. No application process is necessary. If a late payment penalty or a late filing penalty is imposed in error, a penalty abatement should be easily obtained by calling the phone number listed on the IRS Notice.

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