Victims of severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that took place beginning on October 22, 2015 in parts of Texas may qualify for tax relief from the IRS. The president has declared the counties of Bastrop, Brazoria, Caldwell, Comal, Galveston, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Hidalgo, Liberty, Navarro, Travis, Willacy and Wilson a federal disaster area. Individuals who reside or have a business in this county may qualify for tax relief. The IRS has postponed certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after October 22, 2015, and on or before February 29, 2016, have been postponed to February 29, 2016.

This includes deadlines for filing most tax returns (including individual, corporate, estate and trust income tax returns; partnership and S corporation returns; estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax returns; and employment and certain excise tax returns) or to make tax payments, including estimated tax payments, that have either an original or extended due date occurring on or after October 22, 2015 and on or before February 29, 2016.

The IRS is waiving the failure-to-deposit penalties for employment and excise tax deposits due on or after October 22, 2015, as long as the deposits were made by November 6, 2015. Filing relief includes the Form 5500 series returns, but not information returns in the Form W-2, 1098 or 1099 series or Forms 1042-S or 8027.

Taxpayers in the covered disaster area can claim disaster-related casualty losses on their federal income tax return for either 2014 or 2015. Individuals may deduct personal property losses that are not covered by insurance or other reimbursements. Taxpayers claiming the disaster loss on their 2015 return should write the disaster designation “Texas, Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line Winds and Flooding” at the top of their return in order to allow the IRS to expedite processing of the refund. The IRS will waive the usual fees and expedite requests for copies of previously filed tax returns for affected taxpayers. Taxpayers should add the assigned disaster designation at the top of Form 4506, Request for a Copy of Tax Return, or Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, as appropriate, and submit it to the IRS.

Provided by CCH

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