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Disaster Relief

Disaster victims in North Carolina qualify for tax relief

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

IRS has announced on its website that victims of Hurricane Florence in counties of North Carolina that are designated as federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance have more time to make tax payments and file returns. Certain other time-sensitive acts also are postponed. This article summarizes the relief that’s available and includes up-to-date disaster area designations and extended filing and deposit dates for all areas affected by storms, floods and other disasters in 2018.

Who gets relief. Only taxpayers considered to be affected taxpayers are eligible for the postponement of time to file returns, pay taxes and perform other time-sensitive acts. Affected taxpayers are those listed in Reg. § 301.7508A-1(d)(1)) and thus include:

…any individual whose principal residence, and any business entity whose principal place of business, is located in the counties designated as disaster areas;

…any individual who is a relief worker assisting in a covered disaster area, regardless of whether he is affiliated with recognized government or philanthropic organizations;

…any individual whose principal residence, and any business entity whose principal place of business, is not located in a covered disaster area, but whose records necessary to meet a filing or payment deadline are maintained in a covered disaster area;

…any estate or trust that has tax records necessary to meet a filing or payment deadline in a covered disaster area; and

…any spouse of an affected taxpayer, solely with regard to a joint return of the husband and wife.

What may be postponed. Under Code Sec. 7508A, IRS gives affected taxpayers until the extended date (specified by county, below) to file most tax returns (including individual, estate, trust, partnership, C corporation, and S corporation income tax returns; estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax returns; and employment and certain excise tax returns), or to make tax payments, including estimated tax payments, that have either an original or extended due date falling on or after the onset date of the disaster (specified by county, below), and on or before the extended date. IRS also gives affected taxpayers until the extended date to perform certain other time-sensitive actions that are due to be performed on or after the onset date of the disaster, and on or before the extended date.

The postponement of time to file and pay does not apply to information returns in the W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 series, or to Forms 1042-S or 8027. Penalties for failure to timely file information returns can be waived under existing procedures for reasonable cause. Likewise, the postponement does not apply to employment and excise tax deposits. IRS, however, will abate penalties for failure to make timely employment and excise deposits, due on or after the onset date of the disaster, and on or before the deposit delayed date(specified by county, below), provided the taxpayer made these deposits by the deposit delayed date.

Affected areas and dates for storms, floods and other disasters occurring in 2018 that are federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance, as published on IRS’s website, are carried below.

Alabama: The following are federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance on account of severe storms and tornadoes beginning on Mar. 19, 2018: Calhoun, Cullman, and Etowah counties.

For these Alabama counties, the onset date of the disaster was Mar. 19, 2018 and the extended date was July 31, 2018. The deposit delayed date was Apr. 3, 2018.

American Samoa: Following the President’s declaration that a major disaster exists in the Territory of American Samoa, IRS has announced that taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area will qualify for tax relief on account of Tropical Storm Gita, which took place beginning on Feb. 7, 2018.

For the Territory of American Samoa, the onset date of the disaster was Feb. 7, 2018 and the extended date was June 29, 2018 (which includes 2017 individual income tax returns normally due on Apr. 17, 2018). The deposit delayed date was Feb. 22, 2018.

California: The following is a federal disaster area qualifying for individual assistance on account of wildfires and high winds that began July 23, 2018: Lake and Shasta counties.

For these California counties, the onset date of the disaster was July 23, 2018, and the extended date is Nov. 30, 2018 (which includes the taxpayers who had a valid extension to file their 2017 return due to run out on Oct. 15, 2018; quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Sept. 17, 2018; quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on July 31, 2018 and Oct. 31, 2018; and tax-exempt organizations that operate on a calendar-year basis and had an automatic extension due to run out on Nov. 15, 2018). The deposit delayed date was Aug. 7, 2018.

Hawaii: The State of Hawaii is a federal disaster area qualifying for individual assistance on account of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes beginning on May 3, 2018.

For the State of Hawaii, the onset date of the disaster was May 3, 2018, and the extended date was Sept. 17, 2018. The deposit delayed date was May 18, 2018.

Hawaii: The State of Hawaii is a federal disaster area qualifying for individual assistance on account of severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides that occurred starting on Apr. 13, 2018.

For the State of Hawaii, the onset date of the disaster was Apr. 13, 2018, and the extended date was Aug. 20, 2018. The deposit delayed date was Apr. 30, 2018.

Indiana: The following are federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance on account of severe storms and tornadoes beginning on Feb. 14, 2018: Carroll, Clark, Dearborn, Elkhart, Floyd, Fulton, Harrison, Jasper, Jefferson, Kosciusko, Lake, LaPorte, Marshall, Ohio, Porter, Pulaski, Spencer, Starke, St. Joseph, Switzerland, Vanderburgh, and White counties.

For these Indiana counties, the onset date of the disaster was Feb. 14, 2018, and the extended date was June 29, 2018 (which includes the Apr. 18 deadline for filing 2017 individual income tax returns and the Apr. 18 and June 15 deadlines for making quarterly estimated tax payments). The deposit delayed date was Mar. 1, 2018.

North Carolina: The following are federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance on account of severe storms and a tornado that occurred on Apr. 15, 2018: Guilford and Rockingham counties.

For these North Carolina counties, the onset date of the disaster was Apr. 15, 2018 and the extended date was Aug. 15, 2018 (which includes the Apr. 18 deadline for filing 2017 individual income tax returns and the Apr. 18 and June 15 deadlines for making quarterly estimated tax payments). The deposit delayed date was Apr. 30, 2018.

North Carolina: The following are federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance on account of Hurricane Florence that took place beginning on Sept. 7, 2018: Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Lenoir, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, and Wayne counties.

For these North Carolina counties, the onset date of the disaster was Sept. 7, 2018, and the extended date is Jan. 31, 2019 (which includes taxpayers who had a valid extension to file their 2017 return due to run out on Oct. 15, 2018; the quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Sept. 17, 2018; the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Oct. 31, 2018; and the tax-exempt organizations that operate on a calendar-year basis and had an automatic extension due to run out on Nov. 15, 2018). The deposit delayed date is Sept. 24, 2018.

Texas: The following are federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance on account of severe storms and flooding that began on June 19, 2018: Cameron, Hidalgo and Jim Wells counties.

For these Texas counties, the declaration permits IRS to postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after June 19, 2018 and before Oct. 31, 2018, are granted additional time to file through Oct. 31, 2018. This includes an additional filing extension for individuals with valid extensions due to run out on Oct. 15, 2018, and businesses with extensions due to run out on Sept. 17, 2018. It also includes the Sept. 17, 2018 deadline for making quarterly estimated tax payments. For businesses, it also includes the July 31 deadline for filing quarterly payroll and excise tax returns. In addition, penalties on employment and excise tax deposits due on or after June 19, 2018 and before July 5, 2018, will be abated as long as the deposits were made by July 5, 2018.

References: For postponement of tax deadlines due to disasters, see FTC 2d/FIN ¶S-8500United States Tax Reporter ¶75,08A4.

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