The Internal Revenue Service is giving Hurricane Irma victims in Florida until Jan. 31 to file some individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

The IRS said Friday that includes an additional filing extension for taxpayers with valid extensions that run out on Oct. 16, along with businesses with extensions that run out on Sept. 15. The IRS said it is offering the expanded relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as qualifying for either individual assistance or public assistance in Florida.

The tax relief will delay a number of tax filing and payment deadlines beginning Sept. 4, 2017 in Florida. As a result, the IRS is giving individuals and businesses affected by the hurricane until Jan. 31, 2018, to file their returns and pay any taxes due during this period.

Residents enter their flooded home to collect personal belongings in Bonita Springs, Florida, after Hurricane Irma.
Residents enter their flooded home to collect personal belongings in Bonita Springs, Florida, after Hurricane Irma. Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

The relief includes the Sept. 15, 2017 and Jan. 16, 2018 deadlines for making quarterly estimated tax payments. For individual tax filers, the relief also encompasses 2016 income tax returns that got a tax-filing extension until Oct. 16, 2017. The IRS pointed out, though, that because tax payments related to these 2016 returns originally came due on April 18, 2017, those payments are not eligible for this relief.

A number of different business tax deadlines were also impacted by the monster storm, including the Oct. 31 deadline for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns. Businesses with extensions also get some extra time, including, among others, calendar-year partnerships whose 2016 extensions run out on Sept. 15, 2017, along with calendar-year tax-exempt organizations whose 2016 extensions run through Nov. 15, 2017. The IRS’s disaster relief page spells out the details on other returns, payments and tax-related actions that qualify for the extra time.

On top of that, the IRS said it is waiving late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits typically due during the first 15 days of the disaster period. Visit the disaster relief page for the time periods for each jurisdiction.

The IRS pointed out it automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record in the disaster area. That means taxpayers don’t need to contact the IRS to get relief. However, 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 falling within the postponement period, the taxpayer should phone the number on the notice to make sure the penalty is going to be abated.

Furthermore, the IRS said it will work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area but whose records for meeting a deadline during the postponement period are located in the affected area. Taxpayers who qualify for relief and who live outside the disaster area should contact the IRS at (866) 562-5227. That includes workers helping with relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization.

Individuals and businesses who experienced uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can opt to claim them on either the tax return for the year the loss happened (in this case, the 2017 return normally filed next year), or the return for the prior year (2016). See Publication 547 for details.

The IRS’s tax relief is part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by severe storms and flooding and is based on local damage assessments by FEMA. For more information on disaster recovery, visit disasterassistance.gov.

For information on government-wide efforts related to Hurricane Irma, visit www.USA.gov/hurricane-irma. The IRS has also set up a page on its website for Irma victims at IRS.gov/hurricaneirma.

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Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.