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ABA Urges Support for Hurricane Irma Relief Effort

17 September 2017

The Internal Revenue Service is extending deadlines for taxpayers in 21 Florida counties affected by Hurricane Irma, including Palm Beach County.

The IRS postponements are not the only form of tax relief victims of Hurricane Irma may be granted.

Today, we're kicking off a matching campaign to support relief and recovery efforts for this deadly storm, part of our overall $5 million hurricane relief effort this month.

Plans will be allowed to make loans or hardship distributions before the plan is formally amended to provide for such features. If a plan requires certain documentation before a distribution is made, the plan can relax this requirement as described in Announcement 2017-13. Under current law, hardship distributions are generally taxable and subject to a 10-percent early-withdrawal tax.

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady told CNN's Phil Mattingly that the goal is to help people in several ways. Other beneficiaries include the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, UNICEF, Save the Children and such local relief organizations as the Salvation Army.

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The IRS is also extending to January 31, 2018, the deadline for individual taxpayers to make estimated tax payments due September 15, 2017, and January 16, 2018. "Hurricane Irma has devastated communities in Florida and beyond in much the same way Harvey affected Texas", said Nichols.

Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits Get Penalty Relief: Notice 2017-47, which initially provided penalty relief to certain partnerships that filed untimely returns or requests for extensions of time to file those returns, has been updated to now apply to both partnerships and real estate mortgage investment conduits (REMICs), which are treated as partnerships for purposes of subtitle F of the tax code. The extension applies to taxpayers located in areas designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance. If, however, an affected taxpayer receives a late filing or late payment penalty notice that has a filing, payment, or deposit due date falling within the extension period, the taxpayer must contact the number provided in the notice to have the penalty abated. "The IRS will continue to closely monitor the storm's aftermath, and we anticipate providing additional relief for other affected areas in the near future".

But May said that the government has been holding regular meetings to coordinate its response. To qualify for this relief, hardship withdrawals must be made by January 31, 2018.

While many plan sponsors will focus on the immediate impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, "plan sponsors might also take this time to plan for the future or to refine existing policies created to assist employees year-round", Jack Towarnicky, executive director at Plan Sponsor Council of America, a trade group, advised in a blog post.

ABA Urges Support for Hurricane Irma Relief Effort