WASHINGTON — Hurricane Matthew victims in much of North Carolina and parts of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida have until March 15 to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service has announced. This includes an additional filing extension for those with valid extensions that run out on Oct. 17.
The IRS is now offering this expanded relief to any area designated by FEMA as qualifying for either individual assistance or public assistance, which includes Robeson County.
The IRS is taking this step due to the unusual factors involving Hurricane Matthew and the interaction with the Oct. 17 extension deadline.
The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Oct. 4. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until March 15 to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. This includes the Jan. 17 deadline for making quarterly estimated tax payments. For individual tax filers, it also includes 2015 income tax returns that received a tax-filing extension until Oct. 17.
The IRS noted, however, that because tax payments related to these 2015 returns were originally due on April 18, those are not eligible for this relief.
A variety of business tax deadlines are also affected, including the Oct. 31 and Jan. 31 deadlines for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns. It also includes the special March 1 deadline that applies to farmers and fishermen who choose to forgo making quarterly estimated tax payments.
In addition, the IRS is waiving late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due on or after Oct. 4 and before Oct. 19 if the deposits were made by Oct. 19. Details on available relief can be found on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.
The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. Thus, taxpayers need not contact the IRS to get this relief. However, if an affected taxpayer receives a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS that has an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date falling within the postponement period, the taxpayer should call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.
Individuals and businesses who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on either the return for the year the loss occurred (in this instance, the 2016 return normally filed next year), or the return for the prior year (2015).
Currently, the following areas counties in North Carolina are eligible for relief: Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Columbus, Cumberland, Robeson, and Sampson counties.