Tag Archives: Disaster relief

South Carolina taxpayers impacted by Idalia qualify for relief

September 6, 2023

IRS: South Carolina taxpayers impacted by Idalia qualify for tax relief; Oct. 16 deadline, other dates postponed to Feb. 15

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced tax relief for individuals and businesses affected by Idalia, anywhere in South Carolina. These taxpayers now have until Feb. 15, 2024, to file various federal individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. This is similar to relief already being provided in most of Florida.

Link to IRS disaster web page

The IRS is offering relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). All 46 counties in South Carolina qualify. Individuals and households that reside or have a business in these counties qualify for tax relief. The current list of eligible localities is always available on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

Filing and Payment Relief
The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred from Aug. 29, 2023, through Feb. 15, 2024 (postponement period). As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Feb. 15, 2024, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period.

This means, for example, that the Feb. 15, 2024, deadline will now apply to:

  • Individuals who had a valid extension to file their 2022 return due to run out on Oct. 16, 2023. The IRS noted, however, that because tax payments related to these 2022 returns were due on April 18, 2023, those payments are not eligible for this relief.
  • Quarterly estimated income tax payments normally due on Sept. 15, 2023, and Jan. 16, 2024.
  • Quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Oct. 31, 2023, and Jan. 31, 2024.
  • Calendar-year partnerships and S corporations whose 2022 extensions run out on Sept. 15, 2023.
  • Calendar-year corporations whose 2022 extensions run out on Oct. 16, 2023.
  • Calendar-year tax-exempt organizations whose extensions run out on Nov. 15, 2023.

In addition, penalties for the failure to make payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after Aug. 29, 2023, and before Sept. 13, 2023, will be abated as long as the deposits are made by Sept. 13, 2023.

The IRS disaster relief page has details on other returns, payments and tax-related actions qualifying for relief during the postponement period.

The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. These taxpayers do not need to contact the agency to get this relief.

It is possible an affected taxpayer may not have an IRS address of record located in the disaster area, for example, because they moved to the disaster area after filing their return. In these kinds of unique circumstances, the affected taxpayer could receive a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS for the postponement period. The taxpayer should call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.

In addition, the IRS will work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area but whose records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period are located in the affected area. Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227. This also includes workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization.

Additional Tax Relief
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 (in this instance, the 2023 return normally filed next year), or the return for the prior year (2022). Taxpayers have extra time – up to six months after the due date of the taxpayer’s federal income tax return for the disaster year (without regard to any extension of time to file) – to make the election. Be sure to write the FEMA declaration number – DR-3597-EM − on any return claiming a loss. See Publication 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts, for details.

Qualified disaster relief payments are generally excluded from gross income. In general, this means that affected taxpayers can exclude from their gross income amounts received from a government agency for reasonable and necessary personal, family, living or funeral expenses, as well as for the repair or rehabilitation of their home, or for the repair or replacement of its contents. See Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income, for details.

Additional relief may be available to affected taxpayers who participate in a retirement plan or individual retirement arrangement (IRA). For example, a taxpayer may be eligible to take a special disaster distribution that would not be subject to the additional 10% early distribution tax and allows the taxpayer to spread the income over three years. Taxpayers may also be eligible to make a hardship withdrawal. Each plan or IRA has specific rules and guidance for their participants to follow.

The IRS may provide additional disaster relief in the future.

The tax relief is part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by this storm and is based on local damage assessments by FEMA. For information on disaster recovery, visit disasterassistance.gov.

Watch out for Offer in Compromise ‘mills’ to settle IRS debts

March 30, 2023

WASHINGTON – As part of the annual Dirty Dozen tax scams series, the Internal Revenue Service today renewed a warning about so-called Offer in Compromise “mills” that often mislead taxpayers into believing they can settle a tax debt for pennies on the dollar.

The IRS continues to see instances of heavily advertised promises offering to settle taxpayer debt at steep discounts. The IRS sees many situations where taxpayers don’t meet the technical requirements for an offer, but they had to face excessive fees from promoters for information they can easily obtain themselves.

Offer in Compromise mills highlight day nine of the Dirty Dozen series. Offers in Compromise are an important program to help people who can’t pay to settle their federal tax debts. But “mills” can aggressively promote Offers in Compromise in misleading ways to people who clearly don’t meet the qualifications, frequently costing taxpayers thousands of dollars.

A taxpayer can check their eligibility for free using the IRS’s Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool.

“Too often, we see some unscrupulous promoters mislead taxpayers into thinking they can magically get rid of a tax debt,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “This is a legitimate IRS program, but there are specific requirements for people to qualify. People desperate for help can make a costly mistake if they clearly don’t qualify for the program. Before using an aggressive promoter, we encourage people to review readily available IRS resources to help resolve a tax debt on their own without facing hefty fees.”

The Dirty Dozen is an annual IRS list of 12 scams and schemes that put taxpayers and the tax professional community at risk of losing money, personal data and more. Some items on the list are new and some make a return visit. While the list is not a legal document or a formal listing of agency enforcement priorities, it is intended to alert taxpayers, businesses and tax preparers about scams at large.

Working together as the Security Summit, the IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry have taken numerous steps to warn people about common scams and schemes during tax season and beyond. The Security Summit initiative is committed to protecting taxpayers, businesses and the tax system from scammers and identity thieves.

Watch to watch out for: Offer in Compromise mills
An Offer in Compromise (OIC) is when the taxpayer works with the IRS to settle a tax debt for less than the full amount owed. It is an option for those unable to pay the full tax liability or if doing so creates a financial hardship. The IRS takes in consideration each unique set of facts and circumstances. This agreement can happen directly between the taxpayer and the IRS without a third party.

An Offer in Compromise “mill” will usually make outlandish claims, frequently in radio and TV ads, about how they can settle a person’s tax debt for cheap. In reality, the promoter fees are often excessive, and taxpayers pay the OIC mill to get the same deal they could have received on their own by working directly with the IRS. This takes unnecessary money out of the taxpayer’s wallet.

In addition, not every taxpayer will qualify for an OIC. Some promoters knowingly advise indebted taxpayers to file an OIC application even though the promoters know the person will not qualify, costing honest taxpayers money and time.

The IRS urges people to take a few minutes to review information on IRS.gov to see if they might be a good candidate for the OIC program – and avoid costly promoters. As a first step, a taxpayer can check their OIC eligibility for free using the IRS’s Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool. And the IRS reminds taxpayers about the First Time Penalty Abatement policy, where taxpayers can go directly to the IRS for administrative relief from a penalty that would otherwise be added to their tax debt.

Tax On Wheels, LLC offers legitimate services to assist you with your IRS debt. Sometimes the best answer is to simply pay your bill, either in installments or with a single lump sum. However, you may fit into a category that will allow you some relief on your tax debts. Tax On Wheels, LLC can assist you with:

    1. Bringing you into compliance by preparing and filing all past due tax returns
    2. Determining if you have criminal exposure and will need to consult with a tax attorney
    3. Evaluating your tax debt and your personal financial situation to determine if you might be eligible for any of several tax debt relief tools available from the IRS
    4. Developing a strategy for using any of the legally available tools to minimize the amount of your tax debt you actually have to pay
    5. Preparing and submitting the necessary forms and requests to obtain the tax relief that you are entitled to under the law, up to and including possible total elimination of your tax debt.
    6. Providing ongoing monitoring and assistance in dealing with the IRS bureaucracy to insure your application is processed as quickly as the law requires the IRS to act and your rights are protected

If you need help with tax debt resolution or IRS representation, don’t hesitate to call Tax On Wheels, LLC for a free initial consultation today at 877 439-3514.

IRS issues guidance on state tax payments to help taxpayers

 

February 10, 2023

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service provided details today clarifying the federal tax status involving special payments made by 21 states in 2022.

The IRS has determined that in the interest of sound tax administration and other factors, taxpayers in many states will not need to report these payments on their 2022 tax returns.

During a review, the IRS determined it will not challenge the taxability of payments related to general welfare and disaster relief. This means that people in the following states do not need to report these state payments on their 2022 tax return: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Alaska is in this group as well, but please see below for more nuanced information.

In addition, many people in Georgia, Massachusetts, South Carolina and Virginia also will not include state payments in income for federal tax purposes if they meet certain requirements. For these individuals, state payments will not be included for federal tax purposes if the payment is a refund of state taxes paid and either the recipient claimed the standard deduction or itemized their deductions but did not receive a tax benefit.

The IRS appreciates the patience of taxpayers, tax professionals, software companies and state tax administrators as the IRS and Treasury worked to resolve this unique and complex situation.

The IRS is aware of questions involving special tax refunds or payments made by certain states related to the pandemic and its associated consequences in 2022. A variety of state programs distributed these payments in 2022 and the rules surrounding their treatment for federal income tax purposes are complex. While in general payments made by states are includable in income for federal tax purposes, there are exceptions that would apply to many of the payments made by states in 2022.

To assist taxpayers who have received these payments file their returns in a timely fashion, the IRS is providing the additional information below.

Refund of state taxes paid

If the payment is a refund of state taxes paid and either the recipient claimed the standard deduction or itemized their deductions but did not receive a tax benefit (for example, because the $10,000 tax deduction limit applied) the payment is not included in income for federal tax purposes.

Payments from the following states in 2022 fall in this category and will be excluded from income for federal tax purposes unless the recipient received a tax benefit in the year the taxes were deducted.

  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia

General welfare and disaster relief payments

If a payment is made for the promotion of the general welfare or as a disaster relief payment, for example related to the outgoing pandemic, it may be excludable from income for federal tax purposes under the General Welfare Doctrine or as a Qualified Disaster Relief Payment.  Determining whether payments qualify for these exceptions is a complex fact intensive inquiry that depends on a number of considerations.

The IRS has reviewed the types of payments made by various states in 2022 that may fall in these categories and given the complicated fact-specific nature of determining the treatment of these payments for federal tax purposes balanced against the need to provide certainty and clarity for individuals who are now attempting to file their federal income tax returns, the IRS has determined that in the best interest of sound tax administration and given the fact that the pandemic emergency declaration is ending in May, 2023 making this an issue only for the 2022 tax year, if a taxpayer does not include the amount of one of these payments in its 2022 income for federal income tax purposes, the IRS will not challenge the treatment of the 2022 payment as excludable for income on an original or amended return.

Payments from the following states fall in this category and the IRS will not challenge the treatment of these payments as excludable for federal income tax purposes in 2022.

  • Alaska[1]
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois[2]
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York2
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island

For a list of the specific payments to which this applies, please see this chart.

Other payments

Other payments that may have been made by states are generally includable in income for federal income tax purposes.  This includes the annual payment of Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend and any payments from states provided as compensation to workers.


[1] Only for the supplemental Energy Relief Payment received in addition to the annual Permanent Fund Dividend.

[2] Illinois and New York issued multiple payments and in each case one of the payments was a refund of taxes, which should be treated as noted above, and one of the payments is in the category of disaster relief payment.

Please feel free to call Tax On Wheels, LLC at 803 732-4288 if we can be of assistance to you with this or any other tax matter.

All first and second Economic Impact Payments have been issued

February 16, 2021

WASHINGTON – The IRS announced today that, as required by law, all legally permitted first and second round of Economic Impact Payments have been issued and the IRS now turns its full attention to the 2021 filing season.

Beginning in April 2020, the IRS and Treasury Department began delivering the first round of Economic Impact Payments within two weeks of the legislation. The IRS issued more than 160 million EIPs to taxpayers across the country totaling over $270 billion, while simultaneously managing an extended filing season. In addition, since Congress enacted the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020, the IRS has delivered more than 147 million EIPs in the second-round totaling over $142 billion.

The legislation required that the second round of payments be issued by Jan. 15, 2021. While some second round Economic Impact Payments may still be in the mail, the IRS has issued all first and second Economic Impact Payments it is legally permitted to issue, based on information on file for eligible people.

Get My Payment was last updated on Jan. 29, 2021, to reflect the final payments and will not update again for first or second Economic Impact Payments.

Most people who are eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit have already received it, in advance, in these two rounds of Economic Impact Payments. If individuals didn’t receive a payment – or if they didn’t receive the full amounts – they may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2020 tax return. Eligibility for and the amount of the Recovery Rebate Credit are based on 2020 tax year information while the Economic Impact Payments were based on 2019 tax year information. For the first Economic Impact Payment, a 2018 return may have been used if the 2019 was not filed or processed.

Individuals will need to know the amounts of any Economic Impact Payments they received to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit. Those who don’t have their Economic Impact Payment notices can view the amounts of their first and second Economic Impact Payments through their individual online account. For married filing joint individuals, each spouse will need to log into their own account.

To avoid refund delays, the IRS urges people to file a complete and accurate tax return. Filing electronically allows tax software to figure credits and deductions, including the Recovery Rebate Credit. The Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet on Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR instructions can also help.

The fastest way to get a tax refund is to file electronically and have it direct deposited – contactless and free – into the individual’s financial account. Bank accounts, many prepaid debit cards and several mobile apps can be used for direct deposit when you provide a routing and account number.

As always, please feel free to contact Tax On Wheels, LLC if you have questions or need assistance with your tax filing obligations. We can be reached at 803 732-4288.

Here’s how much individuals will get from the Economic Impact Payments


April 14, 2020

Employed full or part time? Unemployed? A temporary or gig worker? Retired or disabled? Receive public benefits? Have no income? Most U.S. residents – under certain income levels – will receive the Economic Impact Payment if they are not claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer and have a Social Security number.

Here’s how much the payments will be:

  • Eligible individuals will receive up to $1,200.
  • Eligible married couples will receive up to $2,400.
  • Eligible individuals will receive up to $500 for each qualifying child.

Taxpayers will receive a reduced payment if their adjusted gross income is between:

  • $75,000 and $99,000 if their filing status was single or married filing separately
  • $112,500 and $136,500 for head of household
  • $150,000 and $198,000 if their filing status was married filing jointly

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an Economic Impact Payment.

Payments will also be automatic for people who receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), or survivor benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits who don’t normally file a tax return. Those receiving these benefits who aren’t claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return or required to file a tax return are eligible for a $1,200 payment. However, people in this group who have qualifying children under age 17 will need to provide information using the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool to claim the $500 payment per child.

The IRS encourages people to share this information with family and friends. Some people who normally don’t file a tax return may not realize they’re eligible for an Economic Impact Payment.

For additional and updated information, visit the Coronavirus Tax Relief page on IRS.gov.

More information:
Economic Impact Payment
Adjusted Gross Income
Economic Impact Payments e-Poster
Do I Need to File a Tax Return?
Whom May I Claim as a Dependent?
What Is My Filing Status?

If you need assistance with this information or any tax matter you may reach Tax On Wheels, LLC at 803 732-4288 for individual assistance.

#IRSTaxTip: Read this information on the IRS website https://go.usa.gov/xvKm8

Economic impact payments: What you need to know


IR-2020-61, March 30, 2020

WASHINGTON – The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some seniors and others who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment.

Who is eligible for the economic impact payment?
Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible.

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents also receive $500 for each qualifying child.

How will the IRS know where to send my payment?
The vast majority of people do not need to take any action. The IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic impact payment to those eligible.

For people who have already filed their 2019 tax returns, the IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount. For those who have not yet filed their return for 2019, the IRS will use information from their 2018 tax filing to calculate the payment. The economic impact payment will be deposited directly into the same banking account reflected on the return filed.

The IRS does not have my direct deposit information. What can I do?
In the coming weeks, Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.

I am not typically required to file a tax return. Can I still receive my payment?
Yes. People who typically do not file a tax return will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment. Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax.

How can I file the tax return needed to receive my economic impact payment?
IRS.gov/coronavirus will soon provide information instructing people in these groups on how to file a 2019 tax return with simple, but necessary, information including their filing status, number of dependents and direct deposit bank account information.

I have not filed my tax return for 2018 or 2019. Can I still receive an economic impact payment?
Yes. The IRS urges anyone with a tax filing obligation who has not yet filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 to file as soon as they can to receive an economic impact payment. Taxpayers should include direct deposit banking information on the return.

I need to file a tax return. How long are the economic impact payments available?
For those concerned about visiting a tax professional or local community organization in person to get help with a tax return, these economic impact payments will be available throughout the rest of 2020.

Where can I get more information?
The IRS will post all key information on IRS.gov/coronavirus as soon as it becomes available.

The IRS has a reduced staff in many of its offices but remains committed to helping eligible individuals receive their payments expeditiously. Check for updated information on IRS.gov/coronavirus rather than calling IRS assistors who are helping process 2019 returns.

Please feel free to contact Tax On Wheels, LLC at 803 732-4288 if we can assist you with securing your economic stimulus payment.


 

Tax Relief for North and South Carolina Victims of Hurricane Florence

Posted September 30, 2018

SC-2018-01, Sept. 24, 2018

SOUTH CAROLINA — Victims of Hurricane Florence that took place beginning on Sept. 8, 2018 in South Carolina may qualify for tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service.

The President has declared that a major disaster exists in the States of North & South Carolina. Following the recent disaster declaration for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS announced today that affected taxpayers in certain counties will receive tax relief.

Individuals in South Carolina who reside or have a business in Chesterfield, Dillon, Georgetown, Horry, Marion and Marlboro counties may qualify for tax relief.

Individuals in North Carolina who reside or have a business in Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnson, Lee, Lenoir, Jones, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Wayne and Wilson counties may qualify for tax relief.

The declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after Sept. 8, 2018 and before Jan. 31, 2019, are granted additional time to file through Jan. 31, 2019. This includes taxpayers who had a valid extension to file their 2017 return due to run out on Oct. 15, 2018. It also includes the quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Sept. 17, 2018 and Jan. 15, 2019, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Oct. 31, 2018. It also includes tax-exempt organizations that operate on a calendar-year basis and had an automatic extension due to run out on Nov. 15, 2018.

In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after Sept. 8, 2018, and before Sept. 24, 2018, will be abated as long as the deposits are made by Sept. 24, 2018.

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 that falls within the postponement period, the taxpayer should call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS abate the penalty.

The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies automatic filing and payment relief. But affected taxpayers who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area must call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 to request this tax relief.

Covered Disaster Area

The counties listed above constitute a covered disaster area for purposes of Treas. Reg. §301.7508A-1(d)(2) and are entitled to the relief detailed below.

Affected Taxpayers

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 listed in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(d)(1), and include individuals who live, and businesses (including tax-exempt organizations) 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 a deadline listed in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(c) are 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.

Grant of Relief

Under section 7508A, the IRS gives affected taxpayers until Jan. 31, 2019, to file most tax returns (including individual, corporate, and estate and trust income tax returns; partnership returns, S corporation returns, and trust returns; estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax returns; and employment and certain excise tax returns annual information returns of tax-exempt organizations; and employment and certain excise tax returns), that have either an original or extended due date occurring on or after Sept. 8, 2018 and before Jan. 31, 2019.

Affected taxpayers that have an estimated income tax payment originally due on or after Sept. 8, 2018 and before Jan. 31, 2019, will not be subject to penalties for failure to pay estimated tax installments as long as such payments are paid on or before Jan. 31, 2019. The IRS also gives affected taxpayers until Jan. 31, 2019 to perform other time-sensitive actions described in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(c)(1) and Rev. Proc. 2007-56, 2007-34 I.R.B. 388 (Aug. 20, 2007), that are due to be performed on or after Sept. 8, 2018 and before Jan. 31, 2019.

This relief also includes the filing of Form 5500 series returns, (that were required to be filed on or after Sept. 8, 2018 and before Jan. 31, 2019, in the manner described in section 8 of Rev. Proc. 2007-56. The relief described in section 17 of Rev. Proc. 2007-56, pertaining to like-kind exchanges of property, also applies to certain taxpayers who are not otherwise affected taxpayers and may include acts required to be performed before or after the period above.

Unless an act is specifically listed in Rev. Proc. 2007-56, the postponement of time to file and pay does not apply to information returns in the W-2, 1094, 1095, 1097, 1098, or 1099 series; to Forms 1042-S, 3921, 3922 or 8027; or to employment and excise tax deposits.  However, penalties on deposits due on or after Sept. 8, 2018 and before Sept. 24, 2018, will be abated as long as the tax deposits were made by Sept. 24, 2018.

Casualty Losses

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 the year in which the event occurred, or the prior year. See Publication 547 for details.

Individuals may deduct personal property losses that are not covered by insurance or other reimbursements. For details, see Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts and its Instructions.

Affected taxpayers claiming the disaster loss on a 2017 return should put the Disaster Designation, “South Carolina, Hurricane Florence” at the top of the form so that the IRS can expedite the processing of the refund.

Other Relief

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 “South Carolina, Hurricane Florence” 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 the official IRS website, irs.gov, or order them by calling 800-829-3676. The IRS toll-free number for general tax questions is 800-829-1040.

As always, Tax On Wheels, LLC is available to assist taxpayers with all tax filing needs.  Tax On Wheels, LLC can be reached by calling 803 732-4288.

IRS provides tax relief for victims of Hurricane Florence

September 15, 2018

WASHINGTON — Hurricane Florence victims in parts of North Carolina and elsewhere have until Jan. 31, 2019, to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.

The IRS is offering this relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as qualifying for individual assistance. Currently, this only includes parts of North Carolina, but taxpayers in localities added later to the disaster area, including those in other states, will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief. The current list of eligible localities is always available on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Sept. 7, 2018 in North Carolina. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Jan. 31, 2019, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period.

This includes quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Sept. 17, 2018, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Sept. 30, 2018. Businesses with extensions also have the additional time including, among others, calendar-year partnerships whose 2017 extensions run out on Sept. 17, 2018. Taxpayers who had a valid extension to file their 2017 return due to run out on Oct. 15, 2018 will also have more time to file.

In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after Sept. 7, 2018, and before Sept. 24, 2018, will be abated as long as the deposits are made by Sept. 24, 2018.

The IRS disaster relief page has details on other returns, payments and tax-related actions qualifying for the additional time.

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.

In addition, the IRS will work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area but whose records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period are located in the affected area. Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227. This also includes workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization.

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 (in this instance, the 2018 return normally filed next year), or the return for the prior year (2017). See Publication 547 for details.

The tax relief is part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by severe storms and flooding and is based on local damage assessments by FEMA. For information on disaster recovery, visit disasterassistance.gov.

Please feel free to contact Tax On Wheels, LLC at 803 732-4288 if you need assistance in meeting your tax filing obligations.

Retirement Plans Can Make Loans, Hardship Distributions to Victims of Hurricane Harvey

August 30, 2017

WASHINGTON —The Internal Revenue Service today announced that 401(k)s and similar employer-sponsored retirement plans can make loans and hardship distributions to victims of Hurricane Harvey and members of their families. This is similar to relief provided last year to Louisiana flood victims and victims of Hurricane Matthew.

Participants in 401(k) plans, employees of public schools and tax-exempt organizations with 403(b) tax-sheltered annuities, as well as state and local government employees with 457(b) deferred-compensation plans may be eligible to take advantage of these streamlined loan procedures and liberalized hardship distribution rules. Though IRA participants are barred from taking out loans, they may be eligible to receive distributions under liberalized procedures.

Retirement plans can provide this relief to employees and certain members of their families who live or work in disaster area localities affected by Hurricane Harvey and designated for individual assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Currently, parts of Texas qualify for individual assistance. For a complete list of eligible counties, visit https://www.fema.gov/disasters. To qualify for this relief, hardship withdrawals must be made by Jan. 31, 2018.

The IRS is also relaxing procedural and administrative rules that normally apply to retirement plan loans and hardship distributions. As a result, eligible retirement plan participants will be able to access their money more quickly with a minimum of red tape. In addition, the six-month ban on 401(k) and 403(b) contributions that normally affects employees who take hardship distributions will not apply.

This broad-based relief means that a retirement plan can allow a victim of Hurricane Harvey to take a hardship distribution or borrow up to the specified statutory limits from the victim’s retirement plan. It also means that a person who lives outside the disaster area can take out a retirement plan loan or hardship distribution and use it to assist a son, daughter, parent, grandparent or other dependent who lived or worked in the disaster area.

Plans will be allowed to make loans or hardship distributions before the plan is formally amended to provide for such features. In addition, the plan can ignore the reasons that normally apply to hardship distributions, thus allowing them, for example, to be used for food and shelter. If a plan requires certain documentation before a distribution is made, the plan can relax this requirement as described in Announcement 2017-11.

The IRS emphasized that the tax treatment of loans and distributions remains unchanged. Ordinarily, retirement plan loan proceeds are tax-free if they are repaid over a period of five years or less.  Under current law, hardship distributions are generally taxable and subject to a 10-percent early-withdrawal tax.

Further details are in Announcement 2017-11, posted today on IRS.gov. More information about other tax relief related to Hurricane Harvey can be found on the IRS disaster relief page. For information on government-wide relief efforts, visit www.USA.gov/hurricane-harvey.

Please contact Tax On Wheels, LLC at 803 732-4288 if we can be of assistance to you during this tragedy.

Beware of Fake Charity Scams Relating to Hurricane Harvey

August 30, 2017

WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service has issued a warning about possible fake charity scams emerging due to Hurricane Harvey and encouraged taxpayers to seek out recognized charitable groups for their donations.

While there has been an enormous wave of support across the country for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, people should be aware of criminals who look to take advantage of this generosity by impersonating charities to get money or private information from well-meaning taxpayers. Such fraudulent schemes may involve contact by telephone, social media, e-mail or in-person solicitations.

Criminals often send emails that steer recipients to bogus websites that appear to be affiliated with legitimate charitable causes. These sites frequently mimic the sites of, or use names similar to, legitimate charities, or claim to be affiliated with legitimate charities in order to persuade people to send money or provide personal financial information that can be used to steal identities or financial resources.

IRS.gov has the tools people need to quickly and easily check the status of charitable organizations.

The IRS cautions people wishing to make disaster-related charitable donations to avoid scam artists by following these tips:

  • Be sure to donate to recognized charities.
  • Be wary of charities with names that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations. Some phony charities use names or websites that sound or look like those of respected, legitimate organizations. The IRS website at IRS.gov has a search feature, Exempt Organizations Select Check, through which people may find qualified charities; donations to these charities may be tax-deductible.
  • Don’t give out personal financial information — such as Social Security numbers or credit card and bank account numbers and passwords — to anyone who solicits a contribution. Scam artists may use this information to steal a donor’s identity and money.
  • Never give or send cash. For security and tax record purposes, contribute by check or credit card or another way that provides documentation of the donation.
  • Consult IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, available on IRS.gov. This free booklet describes the tax rules that apply to making legitimate tax-deductible donations. Among other things, it also provides complete details on what records to keep.

Taxpayers suspecting fraud by email should visit IRS.gov and search for the keywords “Report Phishing.”

More information about tax scams and schemes may be found at IRS.gov using the keywords “scams and schemes.” Details on available relief can be found on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

As always, please feel free to contact Tax On Wheels, LLC directly at 803 732-4288  if we can be of assistance to you.