The Internal Revenue Service is giving victims of the recent catastrophic storms and flooding in Louisiana until Jan. 17, 2017 to file some of their individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments.
The IRS said Monday that they, along with workers who are helping with relief activities and are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization, also qualify for tax relief.
President Obama declared Louisiana a disaster area on Sunday and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts after severe storms and flooding hit gulf areas in recent days, displacing thousands of residents in the southern part of the state. As of Monday, six people had been killed and more than 20,000 had to be rescued from their homes amid the rising floodwaters.
The IRS said affected taxpayers in East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena and Tangipahoa parishes will receive this and other special tax relief. Other locations in Louisiana and other states may be added in the days ahead, after damage assessments by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The tax relief will delay various tax filing and payment deadlines that began Aug. 11, 2016. Individuals and businesses that were affected by the disaster will have until Jan. 17, 2017 to file their tax returns and pay any taxes originally due during this period. This includes the Sept. 15 deadline for making quarterly estimated tax payments.
For individual tax filers, the tax relief also includes 2015 income tax returns that received a tax-filing extension until Oct. 17, 2016. The IRS pointed out, though, that because tax payments related to these 2015 returns were originally due on April 18, 2016, they are not eligible for this relief.
Several business tax deadlines are also affected, including the Sept. 15 deadline for corporation and partnership tax returns on extension, in addition to the Oct. 31 deadline for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns.
The IRS is also waiving late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits, which would normally be due on or after Aug. 11 and before Aug. 26 if the deposits are made by Aug. 26, 2016. Details on the tax relief can be found on the IRS.gov disaster relief page.
The IRS said it automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record that is located in the disaster area. That means taxpayers don’t need to contact the IRS to qualify for this relief. However, if an affected taxpayer does receive 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 IRS said the taxpayer should call the number on the notice and the penalty will be abated.
In addition, the IRS intends to work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area but whose records are located in the affected area and they need the records to meet a deadline during the postponement period. Taxpayers who qualify for relief but live outside the disaster area need to contact the IRS at (866) 562-5227.
Individuals and businesses that suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can claim the losses on either the return for the year when the loss occurred or on the return for the prior year, the IRS noted. Publication 547 provides the details.
On Sunday, the Louisiana Department of Revenue also said it was providing a one-month filing and payment extension to Louisiana taxpayers who were affected by the recent severe storms and flooding. The extension applies to Louisiana tax returns and payments that are due Aug. 15, 2016. The extended deadline is now Sept. 15, 2016. It tax returns and payments are submitted by the newly extended deadline, the Louisiana Department of Revenue said it would waive any late filing penalties, late payment penalties and interest that would otherwise apply.
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