Victims of October Floods in South Carolina May Qualify for Federal Tax Relief
The Internal Revenue Service is offering several types of tax relief programs to individuals and businesses in various counties in South Carolina who were affected by the severe storms and flooding in October 2015.
First, business owners, sole proprietors, businesses, and self-employed individuals who would normally file quarterly taxes on October 15th have until February 16th, 2016 to file these tax forms. People and businesses that qualify for this tax assistance should be located in taxpayers in Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Darlington, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter and Williamsburg Counties. Relief organizations and volunteers working on philanthropic rebuilding activities in the state will also receive this extension.
Other affected deadlines include November 1st and February 1st, which are other quarterly tax filing deadlines. Affected people and businesses can file these quarterly taxes on the February 16th extension as well. The IRS stated that it will abate any late penalties that would otherwise apply to tax filers.
Late deposit penalties will also be suspended for federal payroll and excise tax deposits as long as the deposits are made by October 16th.
Additionally, citizens residing within the 16 counties will receive individual assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and will also qualify for special tax relief this tax season. Anyone whose property was damaged in the storms that began on October 1st will qualify for this assistance.
The IRS will also work with tax payers who live outside the listed affected counties, but whose tax records or other necessary tax information has been affected in the flooded counties.
Most importantly for individuals, those who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-caused or –related losses of personal property or real estate can claim these losses on either their 2014 tax return, or their 2015 tax return. This could result in higher returns or greater income savings, depending on various income factors. It is important to look over tax relief options and individual tax information to determine whether filing in 2014 or 2015 will provide better relief of tax burdens.
Tax payers in the 16 disaster counties of South Carolina may also request expedited copies of past tax returns, and the IRS will waive the usual fees for expediting that information. These forms may be downloaded from the official IRS website (irs.gov), or call 800‐829‐3676. The IRS also wants to help answer tax payer questions on their general line, 800‐829‐1040.
It is still important for South Carolina residents to be careful when leaving their homes, and avoid any roads or bridges that have been barricaded or marked as unsafe. However, when travel becomes safer, consider scheduling a meeting with a tax attorney to discuss tax relief options.