IRS Providing Assistance to Taxpayers Impacted by Hurricane Idalia

The IRS has introduced options for deferring tax payments for individuals and businesses that have been affected by Hurricane Idalia. These payments can now be postponed until February 15, 2024, as reported by The Epoch Times.

This extended deadline is specifically applicable to individuals who had a valid extension for filing their 2022 return, which was originally due to expire on October 16, 2023.

A statement from the IRS read: “Quarterly estimated income tax payments normally due on Sept. 15, 2023, and Jan. 16, 2024; quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Oct. 31, 2023, and Jan. 31, 2024; and calendar-year partnerships and S corporations whose 2022 extensions run out on Sept. 15, 2023,” are eligible for deferral.

The IRS statement added:

“In addition, penalties for the failure to make payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after Aug. 27, 2023, and before Sept. 11, 2023, will be abated as long as the deposits are made by Sept. 11, 2023.”

“Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227. This also includes workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization.”

“Taxpayers have extra time—up to six months after the due date of the taxpayer’s federal income tax return for the disaster year (without regard to any extension of time to file)—to make the election. Be sure to write the FEMA declaration number, DR-3596-EM, on any return claiming a loss.”

The IRS announced that individual retirement arrangements (IRAs) are also eligible for special consideration. The agency wrote: “A taxpayer may be eligible to take a special disaster distribution that would not be subject to the additional 10% early distribution tax and allows the taxpayer to spread the income over three years. Taxpayers may also be eligible to make a hardship withdrawal. Each plan or IRA has specific rules and guidance for their participants to follow.”

The Epoch Times noted that “as qualified disaster relief payments are excluded from gross income, taxpayers can deduct personal, family, living, or funeral expenses, along with repair or rehabilitation of their home and contents received from a government agency from their gross income amounts.”

Currently, the recently issued IRS guidelines would make 46 out of the total 67 counties in Florida eligible for assistance.

The choice was made in response to Hurricane Idalia, classified as a category 3 hurricane, which traversed through Florida’s Big Bend region last Wednesday. With winds reaching 125 mph and a water surge of 16 feet, the storm caused power outages for over 300,000 individuals.

According to CoreLogic, the damage is extensive, with over 800,000 homes estimated to be affected. This equates to potential damages surpassing $238 billion.

Strategic early preparations and evacuation directives played a crucial role in minimizing the loss of human life, resulting in a remarkable total of only three documented casualties.