IRS and States Respond to Hurricane Florence: Extensions, Waivers and More

October 2018

The IRS granted relief on October 3 to certain residents in South Carolina for the effects of Hurricane Florence in the following counties: Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion, and Marlboro.
 
Certain deadlines falling on or after September 8, 2018, and before January 31, 2019, are granted additional time to file through January 31, 2019, including:
  • Taxpayers who were granted an extension to file their returns by October 15, 2018.
  • Quarterly estimated income tax payments due on September 17, 2018, and January 15, 2019.
  • Quarterly payroll excise tax returns normally due on October 31, 2018.
  • Tax returns due by November 15, 2018, for tax-exempt organizations that operate on a calendar-year basis and had an automatic extension due by that date.
 
Penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after September 8, 2018, and before September 24, 2018, are abated if the deposits were made by September 24, 2018. 
 
The IRS webpage for tax relief for victims of Hurricane Florence in South Carolina states that affected taxpayers receiving a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS that has an original or extended filing, payment, or deposit due date within the postponement period above should call the telephone number provided on the notice to seek abatement.

September 2018
The IRS announced on September 15 that taxpayers affected by Hurricane Florence may qualify for relief from certain filing deadlines, tax payments, and other time-sensitive acts.  As of September 17, the extensions apply to taxpayers in Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Lenoir, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, and Wayne counties in North Carolina, and applies to original and extended due dates occurring on or after September 7, 2018, and before January 31, 2019.

As a declared disaster area, the IRS is permitted to postpone certain deadlines falling on or after September 7, 2018, and before January 31, 2019, to file and pay any taxes due during this period.  Such relief includes:
  • Quarterly estimated income tax payments due on September 17, 2018.
  • Quarterly payroll and excise tax returns that would have been due on October 31, 2018.  Penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after September 7, 2018, and before September 24, 2018, are abated as long as the deposits are made by September 24, 2018.
  • Businesses that have extensions that end on September 17, 2018.
  • Taxpayers with valid extensions to file their 2017 returns that end on October 15, 2018.
For further information:
The IRS disaster hotline is 866-562-5117.
The IRS announcement regarding Hurricane Florence.
The IRS’s Hurricane Florence Information Center.


States’ responses

North Carolina
With some exceptions, the North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR) will waive any penalties assessed against taxpayers who fail to obtain a license, file a return, or pay tax by the due date (Late Action) and who are allowed federal tax relief as a result of Hurricane Florence, for due dates occurring on or after September 7, 2018, through January 31, 2019.  The waiver will be considered a waiver for automatic reasons, and not for good compliance (which can only be granted once every three years per tax type). 
 
Taxpayers that are not located in one of the counties declared eligible for federal relief by the Internal Revenue Service can request a waiver of penalties for Late Action occurring within three months following the date of the natural disaster.  Taxpayers must provide documents to support their claim that Hurricane Florence was the cause of the Late Action. 
 
The NCDOR will assess interest on any tax due from the date the tax was due until the date the tax is paid for any Late Action. 
 
The NCDOR generally expands relief from penalties for failure to file or failure to pay from federal relief to all quarterly , monthly, and semi-weekly filers who are "Affected Taxpayers" (defined in the NCDOR announcement) that file withholding returns and pay the tax due by January 31, 2019.  See the September 17 announcement for further details and to read about exceptions regarding relief. 
 
For more information, read the announcement here.
 
Contact the NCDOR at: 1-877-252-3052 to speak with a customer service representative, or write to Customer Service, PO Box 1168, Raleigh, NC 27062. 
 
South Carolina
The South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR) will work with taxpayers on a case-by-case basis to waive penalties assessed against taxpayers who cannot meet their state filing or payment requirements as a result of Hurricane Florence.  The relief does not apply to current collection matters, including payments due during the relief period under any payment plan previously entered into with the SCDOR.  Taxpayers affected by the storm should submit their completed tax returns and payments, and should they receive a notice with penalties due, request a penalty waiver following the instructions in the SCDOR announcement. 
 
Updated information regarding SCDOR tax relief can be found here.
 
Alabama
Alabama's Department of Revenue (ADOR) is offering tax relief in line with federal relief to taxpayers who have been affected by damage from Hurricane Florence.   Alabama taxpayers have until January 31, 2019, to file tax returns due on or after September 7, 2018, and before January 31, 2019, for which penalty relief will be available.  Taxpayers should write "Florence Relief - 2018" in red ink when filing any state paper return or report that relies on the Alabama tax relief. 

For more information, read the announcement here.
 
Contact the ADOR at:
  • Individual Income Tax: 334-353-0602
  • Corporate Income Tax: 334-242-1200
  • Pass-through Entities: 334-242-1033
  • Sales and Use Tax: 334-242-1490
  • Business Privilege Tax: 334-353-7923
  • Withholding Tax: 334-242-1300
 
Arkansas
Effective September 12, 2018, through October 31, 2018, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration has issued a temporary excise tax waiver for requirements associated with the International Registration Plan and International Fuel Tax Agreement for any motor vehicle traveling through Arkansas that is engaged in disaster relief efforts. 
 
For more information, read the announcement here.
 
Contact the Arkansas Office of Motor Vehicle as 501-682-4651. 
 
Georgia
As of September 16, Georgia has waived tax filings under the Georgia International Registration Plan and the International Fuel Tax Agreement.
 
For more information, read the announcement here.
 
Contact the Georgia Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division at 855-406-5221.
 
Florida
Florida's Department of Revenue (FDOR) is offering tax relief to taxpayers on a case-by-case basis who "despite good-faith efforts, are unable to file tax returns as required by law because of Hurricane Florence." Filing deadlines for taxpayers who are able to file will remain unchanged.  Florida will follow federal tax relief for corporate filers regarding the postponement of due dates. Florida corporate income/franchise tax returns originally due or due on extension on or after September 7, 2018, and before January 31, 2019, are now due February 15, 2019. 
 
For more information, read the announcement here.
 
Contact a FDOR representative at 850-488-6800.
 
Idaho
The Idaho State Tax Commission is extending deadlines to file and pay taxes for victims of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina and elsewhere.  Taxpayers from designated disaster areas have until January 31, 2019, to send any completed tax returns and payments due from September 7, 2018, to the extended deadline.  Taxpayers should write "HURRICANE FLORENCE" in red ink at the top of their tax return to qualify for the extension, or call the Tax Commission if they file electronically.
 
For more information, read the announcement here.
 
Contact the Idaho Tax Commission at 800-972-7660.