The IRS has announced relief from filing deadlines for taxpayers impacted by Hurricane Florence in News Release NC-2018-03.
The IRS outlines the areas affected by this relief as follows:
Individuals who reside or have a business in Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Lenoir, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, and Wayne counties may qualify for tax relief.
The IRS provides the following date date and deadline relief for affected taxpayers:
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. This includes quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Sept. 17, 2018, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Oct. 31, 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.
The IRS will undertake to identify affected taxpayers to minimize the chance of a penalty notice that no longer applies due to this relief. However, the agency also notes that certain taxpayers will need to contact the IRS:
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.
If taxpayers so receive a penalty notice, the release suggests the taxpayers take the following action:
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 release also reminds taxpayers of the fact that, despite the repeal of the ability to claim personal casualty losses beginning in 2018 as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, that Act retained the ability to claim such losses in designated disaster areas:
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. See Publication 547 for details.
Individuals may deduct personal property losses that are not covered by insurance or other reimbursements. For details, see Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts and its Instructions.
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.