IRS and DOL Guidance on Relief Available for March Storm Victims
In March 2019, the IRS and DOL issued notices of possible tax relief and ERISA relief for certain counties in Ohio and Nebraska that were declared disaster areas due to serious weather events. The relief is available to individuals that reside or work in the following counties:
- Nebraska counties: Butler, Cass, Colfax, Dodge, Douglas, Nemaha, Sarpy, Saunders, and Washington
- Iowa counties: Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona and Woodbury counties.
The guidance describes the ability of the IRS to postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have business in the impacted areas, including the April 15, 2019, deadline for income tax returns and payments and the quarterly estimated income tax payments due on April 15, 2019, and June 17, 2019. Eligible taxpayers also have until July 31, 2019, to make 2018 IRA contributions. Penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after March 9, 2019, and before March 25, 2019, will be abated as long as the deposits were made by March 25, 2019.
Separately, the DOL recognized that plan fiduciaries, employers, labor organizations, service providers, and participants and beneficiaries located in the declared disaster areas may have difficulty in complying with ERISA over the coming months. Relief is available regarding verification procedures for pension plan loans and distributions as well as the time restrictions for participant contributions and loan repayments. There is also relief extended to ERISA claims compliance as long as plans act reasonably, prudently, and in the interest of the workers and their families who rely on their health, retirement, and other employee benefit plans for their physical and economic well-being.
Employers in these affected areas should call the IRS disaster hotline 866.562.5277.
For disaster relief specific to the EBSA, visit: www.askebsa.dol.gov