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Disaster Relief

More disaster victims in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina qualify for tax relief

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

Victims of recent severe storms and flooding in numerous states have more time to make tax payments and file returns if they are affected taxpayers in counties that have been designated as federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance. Certain other time-sensitive acts also are postponed. IRS has recently announced on its website that additional counties in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina have been designated as federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance. 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 are federal disaster areas 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.

Florida: The following are federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance on account of Hurricane Michael that took place beginning on Oct. 7, 2018: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington counties.

For these Florida counties, the onset date of the disaster was Oct. 7, 2018, and the extended date is Feb. 28, 2019 (which includes the 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 Jan. 15, 2019; the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Oct. 31, 2018 and Jan. 31, 2019; tax-exempt organizations that operate on a calendar-year basis that had an automatic extension due to run out on Nov. 15, 2018; and the businesses with extensions including, among others, calendar-year corporations whose 2017 extensions run out on Oct. 15, 2018). The deposit delayed date was Oct. 22, 2018. (IR 2018-199, 10/12/2018; IR 2018-202, 10/15/2018)

Georgia: The following are federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance on account of Hurricane Michael that took place beginning on Oct. 9, 2018: Baker, Bleckley, Burke, Calhoun, Clay, Colquitt, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Emanuel, Grady, Houston, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Laurens, Lee, Macon, Miller, Mitchell, Pulaski, Randolph, Seminole, Sumter, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Treutlen, Turner, Wilcox, and Worth counties.

For these Georgia counties, the onset date of the disaster was Oct. 9, 2018, and the extended date is Feb. 28, 2019 (which includes the 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 Jan. 15, 2019; the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Oct. 31, 2018 and Jan. 31, 2019; the tax-exempt organizations that operate on a calendar-year basis that had an automatic extension due to run out on Nov. 15, 2018; and the businesses with extensions also have the additional time including, among others, calendar-year corporations whose 2017 extensions run out on Oct. 15, 2018). The deposit delayed date was Oct. 24, 2018. (IR 2018-202, 10/15/2018)

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.

Northern Mariana Islands: The following are federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance on account of Typhoon Mangkhut that took place beginning on Sept. 10, 2018: Rota, Saipan and Tinian islands.

For these Northern Mariana Islands areas, the onset date of the disaster was Sept. 10, 2018, and the extended date is Jan. 31, 2019 (which includes the 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 and Jan. 15, 2019; 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 was Sept. 25, 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: Alamance, Allegany, Anson, Ashe, Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Cabarrus, Carteret, Chatham, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Dare, Davidson, Duplin, Durham, Granville, Greene, Guilford, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Madison, Montgomery, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Orange, Pamlico, Pender, Person, Pitt, Polk, Randolph, Richmond, Robeson, Rowan, Sampson, Scotland, Stanly, Tyrrell, Union, Wayne, Wilson, and Yancey 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 and Jan. 15, 2019; 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 was Sept. 24, 2018. (IR 2018-202, 10/15/2018)

South Carolina: The following are federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance on account of Hurricane Florence, which took place beginning on Sept. 8, 2018: Berkeley, Charleston, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Jasper, Lancaster, Marion, Marlboro, Orangeburg, Sumter, and Williamsburg counties.

For these South Carolina counties, the onset date of the disaster was Sept. 8, 2018, and the extended date is Jan. 31, 2019 (which includes the 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 and Jan. 15, 2019; 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 was Sept. 24, 2018. (IR 2018-202, 10/15/2018)

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 onset date of the disaster was June 19, 2018, and the extended date is Oct. 31, 2018 (which includes the taxpayers who had a valid extension to file their 2017 return due to run out on Oct. 15, 2018 and businesses with extensions due to run out on Sept. 17, 2018; the Sept. 17, 2018 deadline for making quarterly estimated tax payments; and the July 31, 2018 deadline for filing quarterly payroll and excise tax returns). The deposit delayed date was July 5, 2018.

Virginia: The following are federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance on account of Hurricane Florence that took place beginning on Sept. 8, 2018: Charles City, Halifax, Henry, King and Queen, King William, Lancaster, Nelson, Patrick, Pittsylvania, and Russell counties and the Independent Cities of Franklin, Newport News, Richmond, and Williamsburg.

For these Virginia areas, the onset date of the disaster was Sept. 8, 2018, and the extended date is Jan. 31, 2019 (which includes the 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 and Jan. 15, 2019; 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 was Sept. 24, 2018. (IR 2018-202, 10/15/2018)

Wisconsin: The following are federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance on account of severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, flooding, and landslides that took place beginning on Aug. 17, 2018: Crawford, Dane, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Sauk, and Vernon counties.

For these Wisconsin areas, the onset date of the disaster was Aug. 17, 2018, and the extended date is Dec. 17, 2018 (which includes the 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 and 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 was Sept. 3, 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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