IRS to Provide Tax Relief to Flood Victims

IRS Provides Tax Relief to South Carolina Flood Victims; Oct. 15 Tax Deadline Extended to Feb. 16

WASHINGTON ––South Carolina flood victims, including individuals and businesses that previously received a tax-filing extension to Oct. 15, will have until Feb. 16, 2016, to file their returns and pay any taxes due, the Internal Revenue Service announced today. All workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization also qualify for relief.
Following this week’s disaster declaration for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the IRS said that affected taxpayers in Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter and Williamsburg Counties will receive this and other special tax relief. Other locations may be added in coming days, based on damage assessments by FEMA.
The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Oct. 1, 2015. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Feb. 16, 2016, to file these returns and pay any taxes due. Besides the Oct. 15 extension deadline, this also includes the Jan. 15, 2016, deadline for making quarterly estimated tax payments. A variety of business tax deadlines are also affected including the Nov. 2, 2015, and Feb. 1, 2016, deadlines for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns.
The IRS will abate any interest, late-payment or late-filing penalty that would otherwise apply. The agency automatically provides this relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. Taxpayers need not contact the IRS to get this relief.

Beyond Designated Disaster Areas
The IRS will work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area but whose records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period are located in the affected area. Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227.
Individuals and businesses who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on either last year’s or this year’s return. Claiming these casualty loss deductions on either an original or amended 2014 return will get the taxpayer an earlier refund but waiting to claim them on a 2015 return could result in greater tax savings depending upon other income factors.
In addition, the IRS is waiving late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due on or after Oct. 1 and before Oct. 16 if the deposits are made by Oct. 16, 2015. Details on available relief can be found on the disaster relief page on
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 information on disaster recovery, visit
Disaster victims in other parts of the country also qualify for tax relief, based on federal disaster declarations issued earlier this year. Currently, individuals and businesses in parts of California, Kentucky, Texas and the Northern Mariana Islands may qualify for filing and payment relief. See the IRS Disaster Relief page for details.

Thank you to the IRS Newswire for sending this information and providing the details in issue number IR-2015-112.

ROAR: South Carolina’s tax code is interfering with job creation

On Tuesday, economists from states all across the country gathered at Coastal Carolina University in Conway to discuss the effects of South Carolina’s archaic and counterproductive tax code at their annual economic growth summit. “Unemployed workers can add the South Carolina tax code to the list of reasons that they cannot find work…” begins the August 9 article by Adva Saldinger in the Myrtle Beach Sun News.

Read the article in the Sun News by clicking here.

Saldinger reports that, according to the economists, South Carolina’s tax system is actually preventing new business creation and company expansion. In fact, the tax code is preventing job creation across the South Carolina. Economists pointed to the numerous special tax exemptions on the books and the need for comprehensive tax reform. According to ROAR, a group advocating for comprehensive tax reform, South Carolina exempts more sales tax than it collects.
Dr. Russell Sobel, an economics professor at West Virginia University, said, “When the government gives out too much stuff there’s too many people at the table.” Dr. Rob Salvino, Coastal Carolina, further argued that many companies either leave or never come to South Carolina “because they are not at the level to manipulate that process.”
According to ROAR, our state is not broke, our tax system is.
ROAR’s Dr. Michael W. Fanning has spoken recently in Greenville.

U.S. Senate Votes to Repeal New 1099 Requirement

The U.S. Senate passed HR 4, the bill to fully repeal the expanded 1099 reporting contained in last year’s health care law.

While the repeal is not finished until the President signs this bill into law, the effort could not have gotten this far without the involvement of Home Builders around the country. In addition to Home Builders, hundreds of associations around the country, all representing small businesses just like Home Builders, weighed in to tell Congress with one voice that repealing the new 1099 requirement was a top priority and one of the most important issues all small businesses will face in the coming year.

If allowed to stand, the new 1099 requirement will take effect on January 1 and require all businesses to obtain W9 forms, and issue 1099 forms, to every person and business with whom they do business, regardless of the amount transacted. Experts estimate that the average business will need one full-time employee just to comply with the requirement.

HR 4 now heads to the President’s desk for his consideration.

Mortgage Interest Deduction Primarily Benefits Middle Class

According to a study just completed by NAHB, the benefits of the mortgage interest and real estate tax deductions are collected primarily by the middle class.

The deductions for mortgage interest and real estate taxes are important and long-established tax provisions that benefit homeowners and stakeholders in the housing sector. As a result of recent proposal to increase taxes to address the long-term federal budget structural deficit, these deductions have been called into question.

The data and estimates in the study demonstrate that the benefits of these deductions are collected primarily by middle-class taxpayers, with incomes between $50,000 and $200,000. Moreover, greater benefits are earned by larger households and families, such as those with children. The data also show that as a share of household income, larger benefits are collected by families with less than $200,000 income, meaning that these tax rules make the tax system more progressive.

Read the entire report at by clicking here.

REMINDER (Builders): Property Tax Relief Deadline is Near

As the result of a law passed in 2009 with the help of the Home Builders Association of South Carolina, Home Builders are eligible for property tax relief on homes they have completed but are not yet sold or occupied. The relief is available for up to five years, but is lost once the home is occupied (for example, if the home is rented) or sold.

January 31, 2011 is a VERY IMPORTANT date. The property tax exemption deadline for recertifying unoccupied homes that got property tax relief in 2010, and for certifying any newly constructed homes, or older homes that have not been enrolled in the program for the 2010 property tax year, is January 31. Those who fail to certify or recertify with their county assessor by January 31 will have no recourse and there will be no exceptions and no tax relief. If you think you might be eligible, contact your county assessor. When in doubt, call your assessor. There are significant savings to be had by participating in this property tax relief program.

Relief also is available for the part of the year in which the home is completed. However, you must apply for relief within 30 days of receiving a certificate of occupancy.


  1. Effective date: July 1, 2009
  2. Homes Covered by Law: Newly constructed unoccupied detached single-family homes built in 2007 or later.
  3. Extent of Tax Relief: Provides property tax relief only for real estate improvement (new home), but builder/developer still pays property tax on the unimproved land.
  4. First Eligible Tax Year: 2009 property tax year. No refunds are available for the 2007 and 2008 tax years. Exemption application must have been made by September 30, 2009, to be eligible for relief in the 2009 tax year.
  5. Duration of Eligibility: Until the house is sold, occupied, or it has reached the property tax year ending the sixth December 31(five years) from the date a Certificate of Occupancy (CO), if required, was issued, whichever comes first.
  6. Recertification: After the initial application, the builder will be required to re-certify homes with Certificate of Occupancy (CO) annually by January 31 every eligible year that the house remains unoccupied.
  7. Homes with No CO: Homes without a certificate of occupancy (if required) are not habitable, therefore they can’t be occupied. This means that they can’t be added to the tax rolls until both the CO is issued (if required) and the house is occupied (Administrative Law Court decision).
  8. Change in Occupancy: Builders are required to notify the assessor if the house is rented or is occupied by the builder. The house permanently loses its tax exemption with the notification. If the house is sold, the assessor will pick up the change in tax status when property deed is recorded.
  9. Legal Reference: Section 12-37-220(B) of state code of law. Bill – H. 3018, Ratification- R88, Act- 76
  10. Obtaining Exemption: Homes Receiving CO in 2009 or later, notify assessor within 30 days of receiving a CO, or by January 31, that the house is unoccupied.

If house sale is not pending, it would seem prudent to file the exemption form when the CO is issued just to be safe. Each county has a form to claim the exemption. However, the form may vary slightly from county to county. To protect your legal rights, the application must be notarized.