In response to the major disaster declarations issued by the U.S. federal government and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issuing related disaster relief by extending tax deadlines for victims of Hurricane Ian, other government agencies have also announced similar relief in order to assist victims. Without such relief, victims would have had to still prepare other filings for imminent deadlines while recovering from such recent natural disasters.
This Holland & Knight alert reviews the relief issued by the Florida Department of Revenue and U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) on Oct. 5 and 6.
Florida Department of Revenue
Florida Department of Revenue Executive Director Jim Zingale issued Order of Emergency Waiver/Deviation #22-002 on Oct. 5, 2022, which extended due dates for Florida corporate income tax filers impacted by Hurricane Ian.
Without an extension, a properly extended Florida corporate income tax return for a corporation with a tax year ended Dec. 31, 2021, would have been due on Nov. 1, 2022.
However, the Florida Department of Revenue’s relief provides that eligible taxpayers that file Florida corporate income tax returns as well as Florida corporate income tax installment payments with original due dates or extended due dates falling on or after Sept. 23, 2022, and before March 2, 2023, will now have a due date of March 2, 2023. This tax relief is applicable to affected businesses anywhere in Florida.
In addition, FinCEN issued a notice dated Oct. 6, 2022, providing an extension to file Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs) to victims of certain natural disasters, including Hurricane Ian.
By way of background, a U.S. person (e.g., a citizen, resident, corporation, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), trust or estate) must file an FBAR to report a financial interest in or signature or other authority over at least one financial account located outside the United States if the aggregate value of those foreign financial accounts exceeded $10,000 at any time during the calendar year reported. In general, the FBAR for a calendar year is due on or before April 15 of the following year. However, a filer is allowed an automatic extension until Oct. 15 without filing any type of documentation. IRS extension notices do not apply for the FBAR deadlines. Thus, typically FinCEN must issue its own disaster relief to extend the FBAR deadline for certain filers.
The Oct. 6 notice provides that certain filers have until Feb. 15, 2023, to file their 2021 calendar year FBARs. Filers who are covered by the Oct. 6 notice are victims located in any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance as a result of 1) Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico, 2) Hurricane Ian in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina and 3) storms and floods in parts of Alaska.
In addition, FinCEN has also provided that it will work with any FBAR filer who lives outside the disaster areas but who must consult records located in the affected areas in order to meet the deadline. FinCEN instructs that such FBAR filers who live outside the affected areas and who are seeking assistance in meeting their filing obligations (including workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization) should contact the FinCEN Regulatory Support Section at 800-767-2825 or via email.
The penalties for filing an FBAR late can be very significant, so filers who fall within this category should contact FinCEN as soon as possible. Victims of recent natural disasters with other filings should contact their legal or tax advisors concerning potential relief from other pending deadlines.
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