Federal Tax: Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma Relief

September 2017

The IRS announced on September 12, 2017, that victims of Hurricane Irma on September 4, 2017, in parts of Florida and elsewhere may qualify for relief from certain filing deadlines and tax payments.  This follows the IRS announcement that victims of Hurricane Harvey on August 23, 2017, impacting the state of Texas may qualify for relief from certain filing deadlines. 

Hurricane Harvey Relief

Current through September 5, 2017, individuals who reside in or businesses with their principal places in the following counties may qualify for relief:  Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Bexar, Brazoria, Burleson, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, Dallas, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tarrant, Travis, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, and Wharton.  Taxpayers not in the covered disaster area but whose records that are needed to meet a covered deadline and that are located in the covered disaster area will be considered in the covered disaster area and entitled to relief.
As a declared disaster area, IRS is permitted to postpone certain deadlines falling on or after August 23, 2017, and before January 31, 2018.  This includes taxpayer with valid extensions to file their 2016 tax returns that were due to run out on October 16, 2017, as well as quarterly estimated income tax payments originally due September 15, 2017, and January 15, 2018, and quarterly employment and excise tax returns due October 31, 2017.  Penalties on employment and excise tax deposits due on or after August 23, 2017, and before September 7, 2017, will be abated as long as the deposits were made by September 7, 2017.
For acts specifically postponed in a disaster area, see Rev. Proc. 2007-56 (August 20, 2007).  Unless postponement is specifically mentioned in Rev. Proc. 2007-56, postponement of information returns such as W-2 and 1099 generally are not covered.  While employment and excise deposits also generally are not covered, penalties on deposits due on or after August 23, 2017, and before September 7, 2017, as noted above, will be abated as long as the deposits are made by September 7, 2017.

Hurricane Irma Relief

IRS relief for Hurricane Irma victims parallels the relief granted to the victims of Hurricane Harvey.  Individuals and businesses in all Florida counties may qualify for relief: Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Calhoun, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Glades, Gulf, Hamilton, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Holmes, Indian River, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okaloosa, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Volusia, Wakulla, Walton, Washington counties.  The IRS will also work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area but whose records necessary to meet a postponed deadline are located in the affected area.
Those affected individuals and businesses will have until January 31, 2018, to file tax returns and make certain payments.  While employment and excise deposits are not covered acts, the IRS will waive penalties on those deposits due on or after September 4, 2017, but deposited by September 19, 2017.  For additional information and clarification of the extension, the IRS has provided further guidance in its news release IR 2017-150.  The IRS newsroom continues to have updated information regarding the available relief and extension.  We are also gathering information at the state level.  Please do not hesitate to contact your BDO professional with any questions or concerns regarding the relief available to you.

For Further Information:

The IRS disaster hotline is at 866-562-5227.
The IRS announcement regarding Hurricane Harvey is at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-relief-for-victims-of-hurricane-harvey-in-texas.
The IRS’s Hurricane Harvey Information Center is at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/help-for-victims-of-hurricane-harvey.
The IRS announcement regarding Hurricane Irma is at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-gives-tax-relief-to-victims-of-hurricane-irma-like-harvey-extension-filers-have-until-jan-31-to-file-additional-relief-planned.
The IRS’s Hurricane Irma Information Center is at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/help-for-victims-of-hurricane-irma.
Rev. Proc. 2007-56 is at https://www.irs.gov/irb/2007-34_IRB/ar13.html.

BDO Disaster Response

In an effort to help to those impacted, government agencies have announced relief measures, from tax extensions and hardship distributions to tax-exempt employer assistance, and even guidance on cyber threats related to hurricane relief.