United States: Additional tax relief announced - this time for Hurricane Irma victims

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Oct 2017

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has again announced various forms of US federal tax relief – this time for victims of a second major hurricane that hit the United States named ‘Irma’. Various IRS News Releases detail the relief, which includes the granting of an extension to file and pay taxes until January 31, 2018 for certain individuals and businesses located in all 67 counties in Florida, all 159 counties in Georgia, and certain US territories – the US Virgin Islands and certain municipalities of Puerto Rico. Additional locations will be added if designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for disaster assistance. Various states have been announcing similar relief.

Parallel to relief provided for victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, the extension is granted automatically to those individuals that reside in the affected areas, and for those that live outside the affected areas, but have tax documents located within the affected areas. Other relief has been provided, including the ability to claim casualty losses on a federal income tax return for either the year in which the event occurred (2017), or the prior year (2016). In addition, employers in the affected area with payroll tax deposits due on or after September 4th, 5th, and 7th and before September 19th, 20th , and 22nd can have penalties abated as long as deposits are made by September 19th, 20th, or 22nd (date depends upon the location.)

This welcome relief should apply to US residents and non-residents, US citizens and non-US citizens, as well as their employers, assuming the taxpayer meets the requirements. Foreign national ‘inbounds’ working in Florida, Georgia, the US Virgin Islands, or Puerto Rico, or US citizen ‘outbounds’ that may be working abroad could benefit.

Mobility programs will need to closely review what payroll and individual relief may apply and how any resulting tax impact (e.g., from casualty losses) might affect hypothetical tax calculations.

For details about IRS relief provided to Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas, please see the previously published Global Mobility Insight.

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