So far, IRS filing and payment relief applies to the following localities:
In New York (starting Oct. 27): Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Sullivan, Suffolk, Ulster and Westchester.
Individuals who reside or have a business in these counties may qualify for tax relief.
The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting in late October. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Feb. 1, 2013 to file these returns and pay any taxes due.This includes:
- The fourth quarter individual estimated tax payment, normally due Jan. 15, 2013.
- Payroll and excise tax returns and accompanying payments for the third and fourth quarters, normally due on Oct. 31, 2012 and Jan. 31, 2013 respectively.
- It also applies to tax-exempt organizations required to file Form 990 series returns with an original or extended deadline falling during this period.
The IRS will abate any interest, late-payment or late-filing penalty that would otherwise apply. The IRS automatically provides this relief to any taxpayer located in the disaster area. Taxpayers need not contact the IRS to get this relief but affected taxpayers who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area need to call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 to request this tax relief.
The postponement of time to file and pay does not apply to information returns in the W-2, 1098, 1099 series, or to Forms 1042-S or 8027. Penalties for failure to timely file information returns can be waived under existing procedures for reasonable cause. Likewise, the postponement does not apply to employment and excise tax deposits. The IRS, however, will abate penalties for failure to make timely employment and excise tax deposits due on or after Oct. 27 and on or before Nov. 26 provided the taxpayer makes these deposits by Nov. 26.
Taxpayers considered to be affected taxpayers eligible for the postponement of time to file returns, pay taxes and perform other time-sensitive acts are those taxpayers in the above counties including individuals who live, and businesses whose principal place of business is located, in the covered disaster area. Taxpayers not in the covered disaster area, but whose records necessary to meet certain deadlines in the covered disaster area, are also entitled to relief. In addition, all relief workers affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization assisting in the relief activities in the covered disaster area and any individual visiting the covered disaster area who was killed or injured as a result of the disaster are entitled to relief.
Casualty Losses Deductions
Affected taxpayers in a federally declared disaster area have the option of claiming disaster-related casualty losses on their federal income tax return for either this year or last year. Claiming the loss on an original or amended return for last year will get the taxpayer an earlier refund, but waiting to claim the loss on this year’s return could result in a greater tax saving, depending on other income factors.
Affected taxpayers claiming the disaster loss on last year’s return should put the Disaster Designation “New York/Hurricane Sandy” at the top of the form so that the IRS can expedite the processing of the refund.
The IRS will waive the usual fees and expedite requests for copies of previously filed tax returns for affected taxpayers. Taxpayers should put the assigned Disaster Designation in red ink at the top of Form 4506 (Request for Copy of Tax Return), or Form 4506-T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return) as appropriate, and submit it to the IRS.
Affected taxpayers who are contacted by the IRS on a collection or examination matter should explain how the disaster impacts them so that the IRS can provide appropriate consideration to their case.
Taxpayers may download forms and publications from irs.gov, or order them by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). The IRS toll-free number for general tax questions is 800-829-1040.