IRS Offers Disaster Relief in Illinois

Today the IRS announced that it will be offering tax relief to victims of severe storms in parts of Illinois.  The destructive weather that began on November 17, 2013 has resulted in the government making disaster declarations in the following counties: Champaign, Douglas, Fayette, Grundy, Jasper, La Salle, Massac, Pope, Tazewell, Vermilion, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, Will and Woodford.

If you live in any of these counties then you will automatically be given extra time to file and pay certain taxes.  Deadlines falling anytime between November 17, 2013 and February 28, 2014 will be extended to February 28, 2014.  If you have been affected by these storms (either personally or indirectly, such as by having a tax preparer in one of these counties) but you do not reside or do business in the affected area, then you may still obtain tax relief by calling the IRS and explaining your individual circumstances.  The IRS disaster hotline is (866) 562-5227.

Maybe this Thanksgiving we should remember to be thankful for great weather, especially here in California.

Isaac-related Tax Relief

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Hurricane Isaac has caused an estimated $2 billion worth of damage with at least 13,000 homes and countless other structures damaged in Louisiana alone.  The devastation was enough for the IRS to announce special tax relief for the following affected counties:

  • In Louisiana: Ascension, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and St. Tammany parishes.
  • In Mississippi: Hancock, Harrison, Jackson and Pearl counties.

What kind of tax relief, you ask?  The IRS basically gives taxpayers and businesses in the affected areas extensions on filing and paying certain taxes that were due on or after August 26, 2012.  For example, somebody living in Jefferson Co., Louisiana who requested a filing extension for their 2011 taxes will no longer have to file by October 15th.  Instead, the new deadline will be January 11, 2013.  And this is regardless of individual circumstances; everyone in the affected counties will be allowed to postpone filing and/or payment.  The other benefit is that the IRS will abate both penalties and interest that would otherwise accrue during the period leading up to January 11th.

It’s actually FEMA that goes out and assesses the damage, and IRS designates disaster areas based on FEMA reports.  There are 14 disaster areas now, but will that list continue to grow?  It may be too early to kiss Isaac goodbye.  A remnant of Isaac is lurking in the Gulf of Mexico that experts say could regenerate into another hurricane if conditions are just right.  Apparently this is what happened with Katrina in 2005.


More on Irene

Today the IRS announced that it is providing tax relief to individuals and  businesses affected by Hurricane Irene. So far the IRS is extending relief to certain counties and municipalities in New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Puerto Rico.  You can visit the IRS website to see if your specific location is on the list.  And keep checking back because FEMA will continue its damage assessments, and the IRS will most likely add to this list.  If you live in one of the affected counties, then you will be able to postpone filing and paying certain taxes.  Also, if you receive a penalty notice, you may call the IRS and they will abate the penalties and interest.  If your tax preparer lives in one of the affected areas but you do not, you may be granted an extension as well.

IRS Extends OVDI Deadline Due to Hurricane Irene

The deadline for disclosing your offshore accounts under the IRS’ amnesty program has been extended from August 31st to September 9th. Interestingly, the extension applies to everybody, not just those who may be affected by the destruction of Irene. Various forms of tax relief are typically offered to disaster victims and details are typically postedhere. The IRS has not yet updated this page to reflect the recent activity of Hurricane Irene, but keep checking back because information is sure to come. The IRS normally has to assess the situation and determine who should qualify for relief.