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Don’t Let the Extra Tax Deadline Extension Create Other Challenges

If you filed for the automatic tax return deadline extension back in April and didn’t make the new deadline of last week’s Oct. 16, and you were impacted by the recent hurricanes, you likely know the IRS granted you even more time to file. Our experience shows, however, you could be in for some additional challenges if you don’t file soon.

First, some background: If you are a victim of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, or Maria, the IRS granted an additional extension to file individual income tax returns and business tax returns until January 31, 2018.

The tax relief affects any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual or public assistance in Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Puerto Rico.  Of course, any tax payments were due with your original extension form back in April.

Important facts regarding the extended filing date:

  • If your address of record is located within the disaster area, you’re automatically eligible for this relief.
  • If you receive a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS, noting a payment or deposit due date falling within the postponement period, call the number on the notice to get the penalty abated.
  • If you live outside the disaster area but your tax records are located within the designated FEMA zone, the IRS will also grant relief options if you contact them at 866-562-5227.
  • Volunteers affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization assisting with relief efforts may also qualify for an extension, but you must call the IRS for individual eligibility requirements.

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 further information on disaster recovery, visit

The challenge comes in two parts. First, your year-end tax planning for 2017 should get underway within the next few weeks, yet you could still be dealing with 2016 tax issues if you take too much advantage of this extra time. Simply stated, now’s the time to wrap up any 2016 tax return issues.

Moreover, the IRS’ e-filing system goes down in December for yearly updates so if you don’t file soon, you could be stuck until the updates are completed, delaying any refund.

Most importantly, we pray you, your family and friends made it through the aftermath of all the hurricanes and storms, as we continue to work together to make our communities whole again.

If you need a proven tax accounting firm to assist you with disaster planning, individual or business tax services, or financial planning, our team is available to assist you. Please contact us at or 904-396-5400.

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