October 15th is NOT the filing deadline for Everyone

October 15th is the annual filing deadline for all personal income tax returns. Let it Rain and StormThis year, some (un)lucky folks in several disaster areas around the country have extra time to file – as long as they were wise enough to put their personal tax returns on extension. What about the rest of us?

We still face the usual deadline – and it’s nearly here.  Let’s outline the special provisions available to victims in the various disaster areas.

One tax professional posted on Facebook that he was burning the midnight oil trying to get the bookkeeping done for a business client. He was frustrated with all garbage (personal expenses) in the records that was taking him forever to clear out of the business Profit and Loss data, so he could complete tax return before October 15. Suddenly, he realized – the client was in the flood area of South Carolina. What a relief, the tax return would not be due for four more months.

Why? Several South Carolina counties were victims of floods[1]. All tax payments and filings that were due from October 1, 2015 are also deferred until February 16, 2016. They include the following benefits, many of which apply to all disaster areas:

  • They can make their 4th quarter personal estimated tax payment on February 16, 2016. Since that’s normally due on January 15, 2016, they have an extra month.
  • Quarterly payroll tax returns and excise tax returns for the 3rd and 4th quarters.
  • Late payment penalties, late filing penalties and interest will be forgiven during this period.
  • People living outside the affected areas may also qualify for these benefits if their records were in the flood areas and were destroyed or damaged.

September brought fires to parts of Northern California[2], while August brought the Napa earthquake. Those affected have until January 15, 2016 to file their personal tax returns, as well as any corporate tax returns that were due on September 15th. Their third and fourth IRS estimated tax payments are deferred until then, as well.

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands was hit by Typhoon Soudelor[3]. Believe it or not, there are American taxpayers. They get to defer their filings and payments for anything that was due on or after August 1, 2015 until November 30, 2015. As with California, that includes all personal and business tax filings, payments and reports.

Victims of the severe storms in Kentucky last summer, have a couple of extra weeks to file their personal tax returns – until November 2, 2015[4].

If you live in anywhere that has been declared a Presidential Disaster Area, you are entitled to extra time for a variety of filings. Relief from penalties and interest – and get special disaster filing privileges to report your casualty losses. Please visit the IRS’s Tax Relief in Disaster Area page to see what your deadlines and benefits are – https://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Relief-in-Disaster-Situations

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References:

[1] https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Provides-Tax-Relief-to-South-Carolina-Flood-Victims-Oct.-15-Tax-Deadline-Extended-to-Feb.-16

[2] https://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Relief-for-Victims-of-Valley-and-Butte-Fires-in-California

[3] https://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Relief-for-Victims-of-Typhoon-Soudelor-in-the-Commonwealth-of-the-Northern-Mariana-Islands

[4] https://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Relief-for-Victims-of-Storms-Tornadoes-Winds-Flooding-Landslides-and-Mudslides-in-Kentucky

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