The short answer… Maybe.

 

Tax relief has been granted certain Texas counties affected by Imelda. For all others, the extension is a one time extension to file and there is no extending your extension.

 

If you were a victim of Tropical Storm Imelda, reside in, or own a business in one of the counties listed, the IRS may allow you until January 31 of 2020 to file your 2018 Tax Return. Per the IRS, “Individuals who reside or have a business in Chambers, Harris, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, Orange and San Jacinto counties. may qualify for tax relief.” In order to qualify for this additional time, you must have a deadline between 9/17/19 to 1/31/20. This means that if you filed an automatic extension to file by 10/15, you will be eligible for this additional 3 months. If you are on the hook for a late filing or late payment penalty from the IRS, you should call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 to request this tax relief. By calling this number, you can request a penalty abatement meaning you won’t have to pay this additional tax. Estimated tax payments due between 9/17/19 to 1/31/20 will not be penalized if these payments are made by 1/31/20.

Just because you don’t live in or own a business in one of these affected counties, doesn’t mean you won’t be eligible for tax relief. The IRS provides relief for all affected taxpayers including “Taxpayers not in the covered disaster area, but whose records necessary to meet a deadline listed in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(c) are in the covered disaster area… all relief workers affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization assisting in the relief activities in the covered disaster area and any individual visiting the covered disaster area who was killed or injured as a result of the disaster are entitled to relief.” In addition to personal tax returns, the IRS is giving affected taxpayers until January 31, 2020 to file most entity returns “including individual, corporate, and estate and trust income tax returns; partnership returns, S corporation returns, and trust returns; estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax returns; annual information returns of tax-exempt organizations; and employment and certain excise tax returns.”

Due to the extreme nature of this disaster, Casualty losses of personal property may be deducted. Because the listed counties are now classified as part of the federally declared disaster area, you can deduct the loss on the value of your home not covered by insurance and other reimbursements. Contact us immediately if you have filed, or still need to file a tax return which includes the partial or complete destruction of your home due to Imelda flooding. In addition to these methods of tax relief, the IRS will waive the usual fees in requesting copies of previously filed tax returns. Simply put the assigned Disaster Designation “Texas, Tropical Storm Imelda” in red ink at the top of Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, or Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, and submit it to the IRS. If you are contacted by the IRS regarding collection or examination, talk to your tax advisor before contacting the IRS to explain your situation.

 

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-announces-tax-relief-for-texas-victims-of-tropical-storm-imelda

 

Austin Long

Tax Advisor