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IRS offers tax relief for taxpayers affected by Puerto Rico earthquakes

Tax relief, Puerto Rico earthquakes

The IRS announced that taxpayers who have been affected by the earthquakes that began on December 28, 2019, in Puerto Rico may qualify for tax relief.

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The IRS release—PR-2020-01 (January 17, 2020)—notes that the president declared a major disaster occurred in Puerto Rico. Subsequently, the IRS announced that affected taxpayers in Adjuntas, Arecibo, Cabo Rojo, Ciales, Corozal, Guánica, Guayanilla, Hormigueros, Jayuya, Juana Díaz, Lajas, Lares, Las Marías, Maricao, Mayagüez, Morovis, Orocovis, Peñuelas, Ponce, Sabana Grande, San Germán, San Sebastián, Utuado, Villalba and Yauco may qualify for tax relief. The IRS release was updated on March 11, 2020, to include Aguada, Añasco, Barceloneta, Coamo, Moca, Naranjito, Salinas, and Santa Isabel.

The available tax relief includes certain postponed deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area—including certain deadlines falling on or after December 28, 2019, and before April 30, 2020. These taxpayers are allowed additional time to file through April 30, 2020. In addition penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after December 28, 2019, and before January 13, 2020, may be abated.

The IRS release concludes that if an affected taxpayer receives a late-filing or late-payment penalty notice from the IRS that has an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date that falls within the postponement period, the taxpayer is directed to call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS abate the penalty.

The Puerto Rico Department of Treasury previously issued guidance providing tax relief with respect to Puerto Rican taxes. Read TaxNewsFlash

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