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Hurricane Florence tax relief


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As parts of the Southeast continue to feel the aftereffects of Hurricane Florence, recovery efforts are ongoing in areas hit by the storm. Numerous counties in North and South Carolina have been declared a natural disaster zone, opening federal funds to people in need. It’s time to focus on recovering what can be recovered and rebuilding the rest — not worry about taxes.

Thus, the IRS is granting tax relief for victims of Hurricane Florence that reside or have a place of business in the following counties: 

  • North Carolina: Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnson, Lee, Lenoir, Jones, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Wayne, and Wilson
  • South Carolina: Chesterfield, Dillon, Horry, Marion, and Marlboro

Additional counties may be added in the coming days.

Taxpayers who reside or have businesses in the above areas now have more time to file and pay certain taxes. Qualifying taxes and returns due on or after September 7, 2018, and before January 31, 2019, may now be paid and filed by January 31, 2019. For more information about federal tax relief, see the IRS tax relief pages for North Carolina and South Carolina.

Following that lead, several states are offering state tax relief to taxpayers qualifying for the federal tax relief. To date, tax relief for victims of Hurricane Florence is available in the following states:

Alabama

Affected taxpayers in designated areas have until January 31, 2019, to file tax returns due between September 7, 2018, and January 31, 2019. The following taxes qualify:

  • Business privilege tax
  • Corporate income tax
  • Individual income tax
  • Pass-through entities
  • Sales and use tax
  • Withholding tax

Taxpayers in areas not specifically designated as a disaster area may be eligible for a waiver. For additional information, see the Alabama Department of Revenue.

North Carolina

Tax relief is available to taxpayers who reside or do business in affected areas, or those whose tax records were affected by the hurricane. North Carolina will not assess penalties for failure to file a return, pay a tax, or obtain a license “for any period in which the time for filing … or for payment of a federal tax is extended … because of a presidentially declared disaster.” Taxpayers not located in a disaster county but affected by the hurricane may also apply for tax relief, though they must provide documents in support of their claim.

Interest will be assessed on delinquent taxes, as it cannot be waived. Additionally, certain exceptions apply to tax relief, notably for taxpayers who remit an average of $20,000 per month in withholding tax. Additional information is available from the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

South Carolina

The South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR) will waive penalties, on a case-by-case basis, for taxpayers unable to meet state filing or payment deadlines as a result of Hurricane Florence. Taxpayers are advised to submit completed tax returns along with a request for tax relief; those filing electronically will be processed more quickly. If taxpayers later receive a notice regarding penalties due, they may then request a penalty waiver. Additional information is available from the SCDOR.

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. is offering tax relief to taxpayers who live or operate a business in one of the disaster areas. Tax returns originally due between September 7, 2018, and January 31, 2019, may now be filed as late as January 31, 2019.

Hurricane-related tax relief applies to corporate, individual, partnership, and unincorporated income tax returns due October 15, 2018; estimated tax payments for these taxes; and the extended Combined Report returns due November 15, 2018.

Tax relief does not extend to D.C. sales and use tax returns or withholding taxes. Additional information is available from the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue.

Other states

A number of other states are offering tax extensions for taxpayers in affected areas who file and remit taxes in those states. These include, but are not limited to:

In addition, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, and West Virginia are among the states temporarily waiving certain requirements related to the International Registration Plan and International Fuel Tax Agreement for vehicles traveling through these states while helping with disaster relief.

Track Hurricane Florence disaster relief efforts at FEMA.


Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail Cole began researching and writing about sales tax for Avalara in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.