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More disaster victims in North Carolina qualify for tax relief

December 9, 2016

Victims of recent severe storms and flooding in North Carolina 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 areas in North 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 2016.

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 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 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. This relief also includes the filing of Form 5500 series returns, relating to like-kind exchanges of property, also applies to certain taxpayers who are not otherwise affected taxpayers and may include acts required to be performed before or after the period above.

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 2016 that are federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance, as published on IRS's website, are listed below:

North Carolina:

The following are federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance on account of Hurricane Matthew, which took place beginning on Oct. 4, 2016: Anson, Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chatham, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Franklin, Gates, Greene, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Martin, Montgomery, Moore, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Tyrrell, Wake, Washington, Wayne, and Wilson counties.

For these North Carolina counties, the onset date of the disaster was Oct. 4, 2016, and the extended date is Mar. 15, 2017 (which includes the Jan. 17 deadline for making quarterly estimated tax payments, 2015 income tax returns that received a tax-filing extension until Oct. 17, 2016, (IRS noted, however, the tax payments related to these 2015 returns, that were originally due on Apr. 18, 2016, are not eligible for this relief), a variety of affected business tax deadlines including the Oct. 31 and Jan. 31 deadlines for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns, and the Mar. 1 deadline that applies to farmers and fishermen who choose to forgo making quarterly estimated tax payments). The deposit delayed date was Oct. 19, 2016. ( IR 2016-135 )

Original content edited.  © 2016 Thomson Reuters/Tax & Accounting. All Rights Reserved.

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