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 IRS.gov.
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 disasterassistance.gov.
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.
By a wide bipartisan of 378-46 margin, the U.S. House last night approved H.R. 5771, the Tax Increase Prevention Act, which will renew scores of temporary tax provisions known as “tax extenders” that are set to expire this year. Severa are of interest to the housing community. The one-year retroactive renewal is through 2014 and dates back to January 1.
NAHB is disappointed that a longer-term deal was not reached, but the political situation and the calendar have forced Congress into a one-year deal everyone hoped to avoid.
Just one week ago, Congress was headed to a bipartisan, bicameral deal which would have extended all of the expired provisions for two years through 2015. The agreement also would have made a handful of extenders, like the research and development tax credit, permanent.
Just hours after word of the agreement leaked out, the White House scuttled the deal by announcing the President would veto any bill that contained these permanent provisions.
In a letter to the House prior to the bill’s passage, your Home Builders Association urged lawmakers to support the legislation. We also expressed concern that these short-term tax bills create difficulties for our members by denying builders the certainty needed to finance complex projects and called on Congress to act quickly on a longer-term deal in early 2015
Key provisions in the tax extenders package for 2014 (retroactive to January 1) include:
- Section 45L Tax Credit for Energy Efficient New Homes. Provides builders a $2,000 tax credit for exceeding energy standards by 50 percent. The base energy code is the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code plus supplements. Section 45L is expected to save home builders $267 million in taxes for 2014 construction activity.
- Fixed Credit Rate for 9 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects. The bill will renew the 9 percent fixed rate, but only for 2014 allocations.
- Section 25C Tax Credit for Qualified Energy Efficiency Improvements. This is a credit worth up to $500 (subject to a $500 lifetime cap), with lower caps for certain products like windows, for consumers to install qualified energy efficient upgrades. Remodelers often leverage 25C tax credits when working with clients. Section 25C is expected to save home owners who remodel $832 million in taxes for 2014 improvements.
- Section 179D Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction. Provides a deduction up to $1.80 per square foot for commercial buildings, including multifamily buildings built under the commercial code, that exceed specific energy efficiency minimums. The proposal also would change the baseline for the efficiency standards to the ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-2007 standards.
- Section 163 Deduction for Private Mortgage Insurance. Allows taxpayers, subject to an income cap, to deduct premiums paid for private mortgage insurance. The deduction for PMI is expected to save home owners $919 million for tax year 2014.
- Bonus Depreciation. Extends the 50 percent bonus depreciation.
- Section 179 Expensing. Increases the maximum expensing amount to $500,000 for qualified property on up to $2 million in property placed in service.
- Short-sale mortgage debt forgiveness. The provision would extend through 2014 the exclusion from gross income of a discharge of qualified principal residence indebtedness due to a short sale.
The Senate is expected to take up and pass H.R. 5771 next week.
Your Home Builders Association has taken a position in opposition to a proposed tax accounting rule change, proposed in the U.S. Senate, that would negatively impact home builders whose contracts extend across two tax years. Read the full report and description of the rule, present and proposed, at Eye on Housing by clicking here.
According to the State Business Tax Climate Index, published by the Tax Foundation, South Carolina is 37 in the nation in Business Tax Climate. Factors include corporate tax (No. 10), individual income tax (No. 40), sales tax (No. 22), unemployment tax (No. 30), and property tax (No. 21).
The top five states are, from one to five, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nevada, Alaska, and Florida. The bottom five states are, from 46 to 50, Rhode Island, Minnesota, California, New Jersey, and New York.
Read the rest of the report at GSA Business by clicking here.