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IRS extends upcoming deadlines, provides tax relief for victims of Hurricane Florence

Compliance
Article
10/02/2018

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is extending certain tax-filing deadlines to individuals and business owners whose mailing address falls within the FEMA-designated disaster areas of North Carolina and elsewhere. The Federal Emergency Management Administration identified these disaster areas following the recent landfall of Hurricane Florence.

Currently, FEMA has extended deadlines to parts of North Carolina, but taxpayers in localities added later – including those in other states – automatically will receive the same filing and payment relief. As more localities are added, taxpayers are being urged to check the designated areas for disaster relief page provided on IRS.gov.

Hurricane Florence made landfall on Sept. 14, south of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, as a Category 1 hurricane, and eventually caused widespread inland flooding along four rivers in the state after dumping more than 30 inches of rain in some areas.

Taxpayers and business owners with the following tax filing and payment deadlines will receive extensions.

  • Tax deadlines that started on Sept. 7, 2018, in North Carolina will have until Jan. 31, 2019, to file returns and pay any taxes due. This includes quarterly estimated income tax payments due Sept. 17, 2018, as well as quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due Sept. 30, 2018.
  • Businesses with extensions set to run out Sept. 17, 2018, will be granted additional time to file and pay.
  • Taxpayers with a valid extension to file 2017 return set to run out Oct. 15, 2018, also qualify for the new extension.
  • Quarterly payroll returns due Oct. 31, 2018, will be due by Jan. 31, 2019.

The IRS also announced that payroll deposits originally due between Sept. 7, 2018, and Sept. 24, 2018, will be considered timely if deposited by Sept. 24, 2018, and all penalties will be abated.

The IRS disaster relief page contains additional details on other returns, payments, and tax-related actions that qualify for extensions.

What you need to know about eligibility requirements

The IRS extended deadlines to taxpayers affected by Hurricane Florence if they live or own a business in the following counties or North Carolina:

  • Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico and Pender

The IRS also recognizes that some taxpayers who live outside the disaster area might have difficulty meeting deadlines originally scheduled during the postponement period because of records located within the disaster area. Any such taxpayer who lives outside the area but qualifies for relief under such circumstances should contact the IRS at 866-562-5227. This includes workers affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization who are assisting the relief activities.

If you or your business is located within a FEMA-designated disaster area and there were uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses, you have the option of claiming them on the return in the year the loss occurred (2018 for Hurricane Florence) or the return for the previous year (2017). According to the IRS, individuals and businesses can get a faster refund by claiming losses on the previous year’s tax return by filing an amended return. Personal casualty losses incurred by Hurricane Florence may be claimed as a qualified disaster loss. The IRS provides details in Publication 547.

How do you get relief during a natural disaster?

Taxpayers – individual and businesses – do not need to contact the IRS to receive this relief. If your personal or business address falls within the FEMA-designated disaster area, the IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief.

However, if a taxpayer in an affected area receives notices of late filing or late payment penalties from the IRS with an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date falling within the postponement period, the taxpayer should call the number listed on the notice to have the penalty abated.

Paychex also understands that you have no control over natural disasters such as hurricanes and flooding nor, for the most part, the recovery that follows. We’d like to make sure you’ve prepared to protect your business. Read how a business continuity plan can aid your efforts.

For additional information on disaster recover, go to disasterassistance.gov.

andrew gargana headshot

Andrew Gargana is the senior federal compliance analyst within Compliance Risk Management for Paychex, Inc., based in Rochester, NY. He leads the federal payroll tax compliance activities of the company, which serves over 605,000 clients in all 50 states. The federal compliance analysts monitor all legislation and function as the liaison with the company’s Product Management and Development divisions to ensure regulatory matters affecting the firm’s payroll processing and tax filing platforms are implemented.

This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. Paychex is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, Paychex. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant.