Everyone had a few extra days to file a tax return this year, since Tax Day was April 18 in 2016 due to the celebration in Washington D.C. of Emancipation Day. Those affected by the recent storms in the Houston, Texas, area have been granted an additional extension to file and pay their taxes by the IRS until September 1, 2016. For taxpayers that live in the Houston area, specifically in Grimes, Harris, and Fayette counties, any failure to pay and failure to file penalty fees will be waived until the September deadline.
Helping Out with Disasters
The IRS has a history of offering tax relief to victims of disasters, such as the floods and powerful storms that hit the Houston area. After the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared it an official disaster area, the IRS offered the affected taxpayers relief from their taxes. Unlike applying for a regular extension to file, this extension also applies to paying your taxes.
Automatic Penalty Relief for Income Tax
The penalty relief will be automatic for taxpayers who live in the affected disaster area. This means that taxpayers do not need to contact the IRS in order to take advantage of this special penalty relief. Although contacting the IRS has set it up to run automatically, there is always a chance something will slip through the cracks. If this happens and a taxpayer in an affected area is charged interest and penalty fees for late paying or late filing, then the taxpayer should contact the IRS to get it removed.
An additional benefit the IRS is offering for those affected is to apply any uninsured or unreimbursed losses due to this specific disaster on either the 2016 tax return, which will be filed in 2017, or for the 2015 tax return, which is filed in 2016.
Extended Deadlines for Other Taxes
In addition to extending the deadline for the income tax returns that were due on April 18 this year, it also extends the deadlines for quarterly estimated tax payments for April 18 and June 15. Businesses also will see a break on their tax deadlines of May 2 and August 1 for the excise tax returns and quarterly payroll tax. Furthermore, any late deposit penalties for any excise tax deposits or federal payroll that were due between April 17 and May 2 will be waived, as long as the payments are made by May 2, 2016.
Effected Taxpayers Outside of the Disaster Areas
Any workers who have assisted in the relief activities as part of a recognized philanthropic organization or government agency also falls under the purview of this special tax relief. Although the automatic tax relief is only for those in the specific disaster area of Grimes, Harris, and Fayette counties, any taxpayer whose ability to pay his or her taxes due to the disaster can receive the benefit. However, the taxpayer will need to contact the IRS.
This tax relief program is something that the IRS often offers for taxpayers in a declared disaster area. If you were not affected by this disaster but were a victim of another one, then you might qualify for another tax relief. If you are unsure of your eligibility for this special tax return and payment extension, then you can contact the IRS or talk with a tax professional, such as Fidelity Tax Relief. We can also help you with other back taxes or tax debt problems that you may have. Contact us today at 877-372-2520 to find out the best way to reduce your tax debt.
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