Victims of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina may qualify for tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service.
The President has declared that a major disaster exists in the State of North Carolina. Following the recent disaster declaration for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS announced today that affected taxpayers in certain counties will receive tax relief.
Individuals who reside or have a business in Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico and Pender counties may qualify for tax relief.
The declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after Sept. 7, 2018 and before Jan. 31, 2019, are granted additional time to file through Jan. 31, 2019. This includes taxpayers who had a valid extension to file their 2017 return due to run out on Oct. 15, 2018. It also includes the quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Sept. 17, 2018, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Sept. 30, 2018. It also includes tax-exempt organizations that operate on a calendar-year basis and had an automatic extension due to run out on Nov. 15, 2018.
In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after Sept. 7, 2018, and before Sept. 24, 2018, will be abated as long as the deposits are made by Sept. 24, 2018.
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 that falls within the postponement period, the taxpayer should call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS abate the penalty.
The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies automatic filing and payment relief. But affected taxpayers who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area must call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 to request this tax relief.
Affected taxpayers that have an estimated income tax payment originally due on or after Sept. 7, 2018 and before Jan. 31, 2019, will not be subject to penalties for failure to pay estimated tax installments as long as such payments are paid on or before Jan. 31, 2019.
This relief also includes the filing of Form 5500 series returns, (that were required to be filed on or after Sept. 7, 2018 and before Jan. 31, 2019, in the manner described in section 8 of Rev. Proc. 2007-56.
Affected taxpayers in a federally declared disaster area have the option of claiming disaster-related casualty losses on their federal income tax return for either the year in which the event occurred, or the prior year.
Individuals may deduct personal property losses that are not covered by insurance or other reimbursements.
Affected taxpayers claiming the disaster loss on a 2017 return should put the Disaster Designation, “North Carolina, Hurricane Florence” at the top of the form so that the IRS can expedite the processing of the refund.
The IRS will waive the usual fees and expedite requests for copies of previously filed tax returns for affected taxpayers.
Affected taxpayers who are contacted by the IRS on a collection or examination matter should explain how the disaster impacts them so that the IRS can provide appropriate consideration to their case. Taxpayers may download forms and publications from the official IRS website, irs.gov, or order them by calling 800-829-3676. The IRS toll-free number for general tax questions is 800-829-1040.