Hurricane Ian victims in Florida qualify for tax relief, IRS says

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The Internal Revenue Service announced Thursday that victims of Hurricane Ian in Florida qualify for tax relief. 

Those impacted by Ian have until Feb. 15, 2023 to file various federal individual and business tax returns and make payments.

The agency said it is offering relief to any area that is designated by the FEMA, and that the current list of eligible localities is available on its IRS.gov disaster relief page.

Individuals and households that reside or have a business anywhere in the state of Florida qualify for tax relief. 

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The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Sept. 23 and, as a result, affected parties will have until that February date to file returns and pay any taxes that were due during this period.

Those who had a valid extension to file their 2021 return due to run out on Oct. 17 of this year will now have until Feb. 15, 2023.

However, because tax payments related to these 2021 returns were due on April 18, those payments are not eligible for the relief.

The February deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Jan. 17 and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Oct. 31.

A home burns on Sanibel Island in the wake of Hurricane Ian, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Florida.  (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee / AP Newsroom)

Businesses with an original or extended due date also have the additional time including, among others, calendar-year corporations whose 2021 extensions run out on Oct. 17.

Tax-exempt organizations have additional time too, including for 2021 calendar-year returns with extensions due to run out on Nov. 15.

The IRS noted that penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after Sept. 23 and before Oct. 10 will be abated as long as the deposits are made by Oct. 10.

It said that the Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Businesses page has additional details on returns, payments and tax-related actions that qualify for extensions.

Owner Robert Leisure walks into what used to be the gift shop of the Getaway Marina in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP / AP Newsroom)

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The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. 

Taxpayers do not need to contact the agency to get 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," the IRS said in a release.

Debris is piled up at the end of a cove following heavy winds and storm surge caused by Hurricane Ian Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Barefoot Beach, Florida.  (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier / AP Newsroom)

The IRS said it will also work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster are but whose records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period are located in the affected area, including workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization.

Those individuals need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227. 

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The IRS concluded that individuals and businesses in a federally declared disaster area who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on either the return for the year the loss occurred, or the return for the prior year.

For any return claiming a loss, people should be sure to write the FEMA declaration number: DR-4673-FL.

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