IRS Provides Tax Relief to Victims of Hurricane Isaac; Return filing and Tax Payment Deadline Extended to Jan. 11, 2013
WASHINGTON –– The Internal Revenue Service is providing tax relief to individuals and businesses affected by Hurricane Isaac.
Following recent disaster declarations for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS announced today that affected taxpayers in Louisiana and Mississippi will receive tax relief, and other locations may be added in coming days based on additional damage assessments by FEMA.
The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred on or after Aug. 26. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Jan. 11, 2013 to file these returns and pay any taxes due. This includes corporations and businesses that previously obtained an extension until Sept. 17, 2012, to file their 2011 returns and individuals and businesses that received a similar extension until Oct. 15. It also includes the estimated tax payment for the third quarter of 2012, normally due Sept. 17.
The IRS will abate any interest, late-payment or late-filing penalty that would otherwise apply. In addition, the IRS is waiving failure-to-deposit penalties for federal employment and excise tax deposits normally due on or after Aug. 26 and before Sept. 10, if the deposits are made by Sept. 10, 2012. Details on available relief, including information on how to claim a disaster loss by amending a prior-year tax return, can be found on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.
The tax relief is part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by the hurricane and is based on local damage assessments by FEMA. For information on disaster recovery, individuals should visit disasterassistance.gov.
So far, IRS filing and payment relief applies to the following localities:
• In Louisiana: Ascension, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and St. Tammany parishes;
• In Mississippi: Hancock, Harrison, Jackson and Pearl counties.
Whether you roll the dice, bet on the ponies, play cards or enjoy slot machines, you should know that as a casual gambler, your gambling winnings are fully taxable and must be reported on your income tax return. You can also deduct your gambling losses…but only up to the extent of your winnings.
Here are five important tips about gambling and taxes:
1. Gambling income includes, but is not limited to, winnings from lotteries, raffles, horse races, and casinos. It includes cash winnings and the fair market value of prizes such as cars and trips.
2. If you receive a certain amount of gambling winnings or if you have any winnings that are subject to federal tax withholding, the payer is required to issue you a Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings. The payer must give you a W-2G if you receive:
• $1,200 or more in gambling winnings from bingo or slot machines;
• $1,500 or more in proceeds (the amount of winnings minus the amount of the wager) from keno;
• More than $5,000 in winnings (reduced by the wager or buy-in) from a poker tournament;
• $600 or more in gambling winnings (except winnings from bingo, keno, slot machines, and poker tournaments) and the payout is at least 300 times the amount of the wager; or
• Any other gambling winnings subject to federal income tax withholding.
3. Generally, you report all gambling winnings on the “Other income” line of Form 1040, U.S. Federal Income Tax Return.
4. You can claim your gambling losses up to the amount of your winnings on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, under ‘Other Miscellaneous Deductions.’ You must report the full amount of your winnings as income and claim your allowable losses separately. You cannot reduce your gambling winnings by your gambling losses and report the difference. Your records should also show your winnings separately from your losses.
5. Keep accurate records. If you are going to deduct gambling losses, you must have receipts, tickets, statements and documentation such as a diary or similar record of your losses and winnings. Refer to IRS Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions, for more details about the type of information you should write in your diary and what kinds of proof you should retain in your records.
For more information on gambling income and losses, see IRS Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions, or Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income, both available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).