Sargassum Breezez

This aerial shot shows sargassum clogging the area near the former Breezez restaurant and all along the area known as condo row.

ST. CROIX — The Internal Revenue Service is giving residents and business owners on St. Croix until November to file income taxes.

The agency, in a released statement, announced that individuals who have had their health impacted or suffered from the water shortage “from the unprecedented Sargassum Seagrass Influx on the Island of St. Croix since July 15, 2022 now have until November 15, 2022 to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.”

The announcement follows the declaration issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that affected taxpayers in certain areas will receive tax relief.

“Individuals and households affected by a water shortage and health impact from unprecedented Sargassum Seagrass influx that reside or have a business on the Island of St Croix qualify for tax relief,” the IRS said in the statement. “The declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain tax-filing and tax-payment deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after July 15, 2022, and before Nov. 15, 2022, are postponed through Nov. 15, 2022.”

For individuals who had a valid extension to file their 2021 return due to run out on Oct. 17, the relief means they will now have until Nov. 15 to file. However, the IRS noted that because tax payments related to these 2021 returns were due on April 18, those payments are not eligible for the relief.

The Nov. 15 deadline also applies to the quarterly estimated tax payment, normally due on Sept. 15 and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns, normally due on Aug. 1 and Oct. 31.

Further, businesses with an original or extended due date also have the additional time including calendar-year partnerships and S corporations whose 2021 extensions run out on Sept. 15, and calendar-year corporations whose 2021 extensions run out on Oct. 17, along with others.

According to the statement the IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies filing and payment relief. However, affected taxpayers who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area should call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 to request this tax relief.

The IRS will waive the usual fees and requests for copies of previously filed tax returns for affected taxpayers.

According to the release, individuals should put the assigned Disaster Designation “U.S. Virgin Islands Water Shortage and Health Impact from Unprecedented Sargassum Seagrass Influx” in bold letters at the top of Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, or Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, as appropriate, and submit it to the IRS.

Affected taxpayers who are contacted by the IRS on a collection or examination matter should explain how the disaster impacts them so that the IRS can provide appropriate consideration to their case. All applicable forms can be downloaded from the agency’s website at IRS.gov.