IRS Grants Relief to Florida Victims of Hurricane Michael

The IRS announced Oct. 12 that it has granted tax relief to certain victims of Hurricane Michael in Florida. The IRS action includes relief from penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after Oct. 7, 2018, and before Oct. 22, 2018, which it says will be abated as long as the deposits are made by Oct. 22, 2018.

The IRS says that individuals who live in or have a business in 16 Florida counties may qualify for the relief: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington.

Under the announcement, certain deadlines falling on or after Oct. 7, 2018, and before Feb. 28, 2019, are granted additional time to file through Feb. 28, 2019. This includes:

  • taxpayers who had a valid extension to file their 2017 return due to run out on Oct. 15, 2018;
  • the quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Jan. 15, 2019, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Oct. 31, 2018 and Jan. 31, 2019; and
  • tax-exempt organizations that operate on a calendar-year basis that had an automatic extension due to run out on Nov. 15, 2018.

Businesses with extensions also have the additional time including, among others, calendar-year corporations whose 2017 extensions run out on Oct. 15, 2018.

The IRS also says that 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 IRS at 866-562-5227.

Other Relief

The IRS also says that it will waive the usual fees and expedite requests for copies of previously filed tax returns for affected taxpayers. Taxpayers should put the assigned Disaster Designation “Florida, Hurricane Michael” in red ink at the top of Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, or Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, as appropriate, and submit it to the IRS.

Affected taxpayers the IRS contacts concerning a collection or examination matter should explain how the disaster affects them so the IRS can provide appropriate consideration to their case. Taxpayers may either download forms and publications from the IRS website or order them by calling 800-829-3676.

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