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.

Extension for Farmers & Fishermen

This year the IRS was not ready to begin receiving and processing 2012 tax returns when they normally do so.  In fact, they’re still not ready.  The IRS has been making last minute changes stemming from the American Taxpayer Relief Act which, by the way, has such a nifty name.  Where exactly is the tax relief in this legislation?

The IRS doesn’t appear to be ready for forms commonly filed by fishermen and farmers either.  Form 4562 and the processing systems involved need “extensive programming and testing” according to the IRS.  Another unintended consequence of the American Taxpayer Relief Act.

And the estimated tax normally required by March 1st can be paid up until April 15th without incurring a penalty this year.  It does not look like merit-based penalty relief; all you have to do is “ask.”  However, it is important for farmers and fishermen to know that this penalty relief does not come automatically.  They will need to submit a penalty waiver (Form 2210-F) with their tax return.