Victims of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that began on October 22 in parts of Texas may qualify for tax relief from the IRS.

President Obama has declared that a major disaster exists in Texas. Following the recent disaster declaration for individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS said affected taxpayers will receive tax relief. Individuals who reside or have a business in Bastrop, Brazoria, Caldwell, Comal, Galveston, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Hidalgo, Liberty, Navarro, Travis, Willacy and Wilson Counties may qualify.

The declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after October 22 and on or before Feb. 29, 2016, have been postponed to Feb. 29, 2016.

The IRS is also waiving the failure-to-deposit penalties for employment and excise tax deposits due on or after October 22 as long as the deposits were made by November 6.

If an affected taxpayer receives a penalty notice from the IRS, they should call the number on the notice to have the IRS abate any late-filing or late-payment penalties that might otherwise apply. Penalties will be abated only for taxpayers who have an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date, including an extended filing or payment due date, that falls within the postponement period.

The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers in the covered disaster area and applies automatic filing and payment relief. Affected taxpayers who reside or have a business outside the covered area must call the IRS disaster hotline, (866) 562-5227, to request relief.

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