Just last week, Hurricane Laura tore through southwestern Louisiana, and weary residents now must start a long path to recovery. With many roofs ripped off homes and buildings, the region of Lake Charles, LA was a maze of snapped utility poles, tangled wires, and uprooted trees. The residents of this area are particularly vulnerable these days, as we all are, because of the coronavirus. Thus, a tough year has just gotten tougher.
Fortunately, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is doing what it can to help those residents while they are focused on getting back home and rebuilding. In this article, we will cover specifically what the IRS is doing to help those residents, which provides an overall look at what the IRS will do when there is a disaster area in the country.
If, after reading this article, you would like to have additional information on any aspect of your taxes, we invite you to call the tax lawyer of Sarasota, Florida, Mary E. King, P.L. The Law Office of Mary E. King, P.L. can make sure that your tax issues are resolved efficiently and at the lowest cost to you. Please fill out our online contact form, or call us at 941-906-7585 today.
IRS Tax Relief in General
Generally speaking, the IRS does its part to assist those impacted by any area that is in disaster recovery mode. Specifically, there is a special tax law provision that might help individual taxpayers and businesses recover financially from the impact of a disaster, particularly when the federal government declares a certain region to be a major disaster area.
While the circumstances will vary depending upon the particular disaster, the IRS will typically provide additional time to file returns and pay taxes due. Sometimes, businesses and individual taxpayers can get refunds more quickly, and obtain additional tax breaks based on losses due to the disaster.
In addition, the IRS website (irs.gov) provides written and audio presentations on planning for disasters if a weather event is approaching your area.
In sum, the IRS tries as much as possible to allow victims of a terrible storm to put off certain tax obligations until they are able to be back on their feet and ready to handle their tax issues.
IRS’s Response to Hurrican Laura
In line with the IRS’s commitment to helping those impacted by a disaster, the IRS has just announced a number of provisions designed to help those affected by Hurrican Laura. This list of frequently asked questions will cover the IRS’s efforts.
1. What areas qualify for the IRS’s Hurricane Laura relief?
IRS relief is being provided to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance. Currently, that means the following parishes in Louisiana qualify: Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, and Vernon.
There may be additional regions that are added later, and those areas will be eligible for the same relief discussed here. To see if you fall within an eligible locality, you can always check out the IRS’s disaster relief page.
2. What does the IRS Hurricane Laura relief entail?
The disaster relief provided by the IRS includes the following changes for the time period starting on August 22, 2020:
1. Individuals and businesses that have tax returns or tax payments due during the relevant period will now have until December 31, 2020, to file the return or make the tax payment;
2. Individuals who had a valid extension to file their 2019 tax returns until October 15, 2020, will now have until December 31, 2020, to file those returns (note, however, that those who had tax returns due July 15, 2020, are not eligible for this particular disaster relief);
3. Estimated tax payments normally due on September 15, 2020, have now been extended to December 31, 2020;
4. Quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on November 2, 2020, are now due December 31, 2020;
5. Tax-exempt organizations, working on a calendar-year basis, with a valid extension until November 16, 2020, now have a new December 31, 2020 deadline; and
6. Penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due between August 22 and September 8 will be considered on time as long as they are provided by September 8.
3. Do taxpayers need to call the IRS to get this disaster relief?
Most taxpayers do not need to call the IRS to obtain the above tax relief. The IRS automatically provides the filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer in the designated disaster area. However, if a taxpayer receives a notice from the IRS for a late filing or a late payment penalty, then the taxpayer should call the number on the notice to confirm that the penalty will be abated because of the disaster.
Overall, tax relief is part of the coordinated federal response to a natural disaster. It is good to know that sometimes the IRS does have our best interests at heart.
Let Mary King, the Experienced Tax Lawyer in Sarasota, Help You Take Advantage of Tax Relief from the IRS.
When it comes to dealing with tax relief and tax litigation, you need to talk to a tax lawyer in Sarasota who can help. Mary E. King has spent her career concentrating on tax law and can help you with tax scams in Florida and elsewhere. Attorney King has a wealth of information about what types of options would make the most sense for you and your business.
That helps explain why she’s received an A+ rating from the Florida Better Business Bureau. If you have a tax-related issue – no matter how small or how large – setting up an initial consultation with Mary E. King, tax lawyer of Florida, is the first step you should take towards relief.
The Law Office of Mary King P.L. offers complete IRS problem-solving services including all areas from tax debt settlement to planning the most efficient tax strategy for individuals and businesses. Call us today to schedule an initial consultation. With years of experience as a tax lawyer in Sarasota for many clients, Attorney Mary E. King can make sure that your tax issues are resolved in your favor. Fill out our online contact form, or call us at 941-906-7585. Remember, at the Law Office of Mary E. King, we are focused on solving your tax issues for good.