Taxpayers in certain areas affected by Hurricane Irene have until October 31 to file certain returns and make payments normally due before then, the IRS announced September 1 (IR-2011-87). The areas eligible for relief include parts of North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, and Puerto Rico; the IRS expects to provide similar relief to other places affected by the hurricane, such as Vermont, after more damage assessments and federal disaster area declarations by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The areas the IRS identified qualify as covered disaster areas for the purposes of Regs. Sec. 301.7508A-1(d)(2).
Deadlines postponed until October 31 include the September 15 automatic extension filing date for 2010 tax returns of C corporations, S corporations and partnerships, as well as the October 17 automatic extension filing date for individual taxpayers and electing large partnerships. The postponement also applies to the payment due date for the 2011 third-quarter installment of estimated tax of individuals and corporations, otherwise due September 15. Under Sec. 7508A, the postponement applies generally to most tax returns and tax payments that have an original or extended due date between the relief beginning date and October 31.
The beginning date depends on when the IRS says Irene affected each affected state or territory: August 21 for Puerto Rico; August 25 for North Carolina; August 26 for New York; and August 27 for New Jersey.
In addition, the IRS is waiving the failure-to-deposit penalties for employment and excise tax deposits due between those beginning dates and the following dates, as long as the deposits are made by the latter date: September 6 for Puerto Rico; September 9 for North Carolina; and September 12 for New York and New Jersey.
Other relief to which the postponement applies includes time-sensitive actions described in Regs. Sec. 301.7508A-1(c)(1) and Rev. Proc. 2007-56. These acts include filing various tax returns, paying certain taxes, making contributions to qualified retirement plans, and filing refund claims. The relief does not include filing and making payments associated with information returns including those in the W-2, 1099 and 1098 series or Forms 1042-S or 8027. However, failure-to-file penalties for those returns may be waived under existing procedures for reasonable cause.
The IRS also reminded taxpayers that under Sec. 165(i), if they have federally declared disaster-related casualty losses, they may claim a deduction either in the tax year the loss occurs or the immediately preceding one on an original or amended return.
The relief applies to individuals who reside in and businesses located in the following counties and municipalities:
- North Carolina: Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico, and Tyrrell.
- New Jersey: Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic, and Somerset.
- New York: Albany, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Ulster.
- Puerto Rico: Caguas, Canóvanas, Carolina, Cayey, Loíza, Luquillo, and San Juan.
Taxpayers within those areas should be identified by the IRS, which will apply the relief automatically. If, however, affected taxpayers receive a penalty notice in error, they may call the IRS at the number on the notice to obtain an abatement. In addition, the IRS advised that affected taxpayers who reside or have a business outside the covered area may request relief by calling the IRS disaster hotline at 1-866-562-5227.