IRS offers tax relief to Houston area storm victims

IRS offers tax relief to Houston area storm victims

The IRS today issued a release announcing that taxpayers in the Houston area—specifically in the Texas counties of Fayette, Grimes, Harris, and Parker—affected by recent storms will have more time to file their returns and pay the amount of taxes due. This follows this week’s disaster declaration for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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Today’s IRS release—IR-2016-67 (April 26, 2016)—provides that the storm victims will have until September 1, 2016, to file their returns and pay any taxes due. Also, persons assisting with storm-relief activities and who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization also qualify for this tax relief. 

Taxpayers outside the disaster area

Relief is also possible for any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area, but whose records (i.e., those records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period) are located in the affected area. These taxpayers need to contact the IRS. A telephone number is provided in today’s release.

Taxpayers located in the disaster area

Taxpayers in the affected counties will be eligible for tax relief. 

  • The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on April 17, 2016. 
  • As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until September 1, 2016, to file their returns and pay any taxes due. This includes 2015 income tax returns normally due on April 18.
  • Relief also applies to the April 18 and June 15 deadlines for making quarterly estimated tax payments. 
  • A variety of business tax deadlines are also affected including the May 2 and August 1 deadlines for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns. 
  • Late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due on or after April 17 and before May 2 will be waived if the deposits are made by May 2, 2016. 

The IRS will automatically provide filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. There is no need to contact the IRS to get this relief. However, if a taxpayer affected by the storm receives a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS that has an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date falling within the postponement period, the taxpayer is instructed to call the number on the IRS notice to have the penalty abated.     

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