Houston Floods

Source: Twitter / Radio One Houston staff

As we are currently dealing with the unprecedented heavy rains and flooding yesterday, the Internal Revenue Service made a statement for those who haven’t filed their taxes before the April 18th deadline.

The IRS advised taxpayers who are affected by severe weather that they may qualify for relief from penalties for their 2015 tax returns. In the statement, There is no penalty for filing a late return qualifying for a refund. Taxpayers who owe tax, however, should file when they are reasonably able, and expect a notice regarding late filing and late payment penalties.

Houston taxpayers can also qualify for an automatic six-month extension to file their tax returns. The fastest and easiest way to get the extra time is through Free File. Anyone, regardless of income, can use this free service to electronically request an automatic tax-filing extension on Form 4868.

Disaster declarations with individual assistance for areas are made by FEMA, which allows the IRS to provide additional relief for taxpayers. If taxpayers receive a notice regarding a penalty, they can request a penalty abatement based on reasonable cause criteria. The IRS will review requests on a case-by-case basis.

Affected taxpayers may request abatement of penalties assessed on their 2015 federal income tax return by:

  1. Contacting the IRS campus that issued the penalty assessment notice. The telephone number is listed on the notice.
  2. Identifying themselves as a taxpayer affected by the severe storms during the period around April 18, 2016.
  3. Requesting penalty relief, based on reasonable cause criteria.
  4. Taxpayers who need to speak with an IRS representative can call 800-829-1040.

To read the entire IRS statement; click here. 

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