With mandatory evacuations along the South Carolina coast underway in anticipation of Hurricane Florence, SCACPA reached out early in the week to the SC DOR and the Governor’s Office to communicate the need for tax filing extensions for the deadline of Monday, Sept. 17.

The DOR is actively working on a state extension for the Sept. 17 filing deadline. Tax preparers and taxpayers affected by the storm will receive an extension on their state filings. We will share the decisions on the new deadline once it is announced.

SC DOR offices in Columbia, Charleston, Florence and Myrtle Beach, along with their call center, are closed due to the Governor’s Executive Order. A subsequent Executive Order will lift these closures.

For the Federal tax deadline, IRS authority to grant deadline extensions is limited to taxpayers affected by Federally Declared Disasters. The IRS can act only after FEMA has provided an “Emergency Declaration” or “Major Disaster Declaration.”

We have learned that the IRS confirmed to the AICPA that a decision on extending the Sept. 17 filing deadline for those affected by mandatory evacuation orders for Hurricane Florence will come “as quickly as the law allows.”

AICPA’s statement included an advocacy call for permanent rules to mitigate the delay from FEMA declaration to ensuing IRS guidance. Under current policies, those affected by disasters must take actions such as tapping their retirement funds to rebuild or pay tax obligations until tax relief is delivered.

“This frustrating, built-in delay caused by the need for a FEMA assessment is why the AICPA and state societies have long supported permanent disaster relief tax provisions. To provide more timely assistance, we’ve recommended (see item 13) that Congress allow the IRS to postpone certain deadlines in response to state-declared disasters or state of emergencies, rather than the need to wait for FEMA. We’ll continue to push Congress to simplify these relief provisions.”

For all who are evacuating in precaution of Hurricane Florence, the SCACPA office is open and here for you. If you need a work space to get work done for the tax deadline, we have plenty of room in our Cayce facility at 1300 12th Street, Suite D, Cayce 29033.

Go to https://www.scacpa.org/disaster-readiness/ for resources. We are taking all necessary precautions to keep members up-to-date on developments throughout the state.