Georgia is Latest to Get Tax Relief from IRS Due to Hurricane Irma

The IRS just announced that all taxpayers in the state of Georgia will be granted automatic extensions to file certain tax returns and pay certain taxes due to Hurricane Irma. The rules are similar to those that already apply to taxpayers in Florida, parts of Puerto Rico, parts of the U.S. Virgin Islands and certain Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas.
 
The IRS relief postpones various tax return and payment deadlines that have or will occur after September 6, 2017, to a new deadline of January 31, 2018.

The following returns and payments are among those affected by the new deadline:

  • 2016 personal tax returns on extension (but not the tax that was due in April with the extension)
  • 2016 partnership and S Corporation tax returns originally extended to September 15
  • 2016 C Corporation tax returns originally extended to October 15 (but not the tax)
  • 2016 nonprofit tax returns originally extended to November 15
  • 2017 estimated tax payments for individuals normally due September 15 and January 15, 2018
  • Quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due October 31, 2017
  • Form 5500s and related DOL reporting for employee benefit plans due after September 6, 2017

The relief should be automatic based on the last address the IRS has on file.

The IRS has also indicated it will grant disaster relief to taxpayers who live outside the disaster area if they were impacted by the hurricane under certain circumstances. For example, taxpayers whose tax records are located in the affected area could get relief. In addition, workers assisting in disaster relief efforts who are affiliated with the government or a charitable organization can apply for relief. Even those out-of-state clients of Georgia tax accountants can get disaster relief if the accountants “…due to the disaster, are unable to meet a tax-filing or payment deadline for their clients…” These out-of-state taxpayers will need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5277 to request relief.
 
Taxpayers who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can claim the losses on their 2016 or 2017 tax returns. Individuals will be subject to the significant limitations that ordinarily apply to casualty losses, so this decision on when to claim the loss could make a huge difference.
 
Lastly, the IRS announcement applies to federal taxes and returns. The State of Georgia has announced similar relief already. In addition to income tax returns and payments, the Georgia relief extends to monthly, quarterly and annual sales tax returns due after September 3, 2017, and before January 31, 2018. Caution that other states may not be as generous.
 
Williams Benator & Libby will continue to monitor IRS announcements for this and other tax matters. If you have any questions, feel free to contact any WBL partners or associates.

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