After disasters, IRS gives more time for returns

By Joyce M. Rosenberg
AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - When a region is declared a federal disaster area, like parts of the Carolinas after Hurricane Florence, small business owners can get some tax relief from the government.

The IRS is giving business owners in the disaster area until Jan. 31 to file certain tax returns, including owners who got six-month extensions of the March and April filing deadlines for 2017 partnership and individual returns. Owners also have until Jan. 31 to file quarterly payroll and excise tax returns that are normally due Oct. 31.

Owners and other taxpayers also have until the end of January to make quarterly estimated income tax payments that were due Sept. 17.

Taxpayers don't need to file any documents with the IRS to get post-disaster relief as long as their address on record with the IRS is within the disaster area. If taxpayers in disaster areas receive late filing or payment notices, they should contact the agency, calling the phone number on a notice, to have the penalty abated, the IRS says.

Federal law provides for the extension of tax deadlines in disaster areas. It also allows taxpayers with disaster losses and who don't have insurance or aren't being reimbursed to choose when to claim a deduction; it can be claimed in the year the disaster strikes, or in the previous year. Taxpayers hit by Hurricane Florence can take a deduction on either their 2017 or 2018 returns.

Taxpayers can get more information about the IRS' disaster assistance for businesses and individuals on the agency's website at And they can find more information about claiming deductions for disaster losses in IRS Publication 547, Casualties, Disasters and Thefts. It's available in English and Spanish on the IRS website.

Owners seeking more information about tax relief for those affected by Hurricane Florence should visit The web page contains links to information in English and Spanish. Information about the Small Business Administration's disaster loans for those affected by Florence can be found on its website at; click on the link at the top of the page.

Published: Wed, Sep 26, 2018