IRS issues relief to all Georgia; fuel penalties eased
Hurricane Irma victims in the entire state of Georgia now have until Jan. 31 to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments, the IRS said.
This includes an additional filing extension for taxpayers with valid extensions that run out on Oct. 16, and businesses with extensions that ran out on Sept. 15.
The relief parallels that previously granted to Irma victims throughout Florida and in parts of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and Harvey victims in parts of Texas.
For taxpayers in Georgia, this relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Sept. 7. Affected individuals and businesses will have until Jan. 31, 2018, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. This includes the Sept. 15 and Jan. 16 deadlines for making quarterly estimated tax payments. For individual tax filers, it also includes 2016 income tax returns that received an extension until Oct. 16.
Because tax payments related to these 2016 returns were originally due on April 18, 2017, those payments are not eligible for this relief.
A variety of business tax deadlines are also affected, including the Oct. 31 deadline for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns. Businesses with extensions also have the additional time, including, among others, calendar-year partnerships whose 2016 extensions ran out on Sept. 15 and calendar-year tax-exempt organizations whose 2016 extensions run out on Nov. 15.
The IRS is also waiving late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due during the first 15 days of the disaster period.
The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area, so taxpayers don’t need to contact the IRS to get this relief. 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, they should call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.
The IRS has said that it will work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area but who has records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period located in the affected area. Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area need to contact the IRS at (866) 562-5227. This also includes workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization, and tax professionals who, due to the disaster, are unable to meet a tax-filing or payment deadline for their clients who live in or are located outside the disaster area.
In a related development, IRS penalties on certain uses of certain adulterated fuels that do not comply with applicable Environmental Protection Agency regulations will not be imposed, in response to shortages of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel caused by Irma.
The EPA has issued a “No Action Assurance (NAA) for the Use of Non-Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel in Limited Diesel-Powered Highway and Nonroad Vehicles and Equipment” letter to the State of Florida. The EPA will not pursue action for the use of certain diesel reserves of approximately 4 million gallons of dyed diesel fuel that has a sulfur content that is over 15 but no greater than 20 parts per million.
For information on government-wide efforts related to Hurricane Irma, visit https://www.usa.gov/hurricane-irma.