Tax relief, business loans available for local flood victims

The U.S. Small Business Administration and the IRS both announced Tuesday that they are joining efforts to help local victims of the June flooding recover from the disaster.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is opening a business recovery center in Weslaco and the IRS announced tax relief for Hidalgo and Cameron County residents or business owners to help those impacted by the recent natural disasters in the Rio Grande Valley. 


Business recovery

The SBA’s Business Recovery Center will begin providing free services and offering loans Thursday, July 12. It will be located at Valley Metro Regional Transit Center, 510 S. Pleasantview Drive, Weslaco. The hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. No appointments are necessary.

When the center opens, customer service representatives and counselors will meet individually with business owners to explain how an SBA disaster loan can help them finance their recovery, answer questions about the loan program, explain the application process and help complete the online loan application.

Businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations may apply for a loan of up to $2 million, which will cover losses not fully covered by insurance. The loan may be used to repair or replace damaged or destroyed machinery, equipment, real estate, inventory or other business assets. The deadline to apply for property damage is Sept. 4.

Economic injury disaster loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses involved in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes. These loans will help meet capital needs caused by the flood and are not limited to businesses with property damage. The deadline to apply for economic injury is April 9, 2019.

For more information, call SBA customer service at (800) 659-2955 or email [email protected] Individuals with hearing impairments may call (800) 877-8339. Applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX76155.

Anyone unable to visit the center in Weslaco may apply for loans online at

Business owners and residents in need of assistance can also find SBA representatives at recovery centers throughout the Valley. A list of these centers and more disaster assistance information can be found at


Tax relief

Residents and business owners in Cameron and Hidalgo counties affected by the severe weather that began June 19 may qualify for tax relief from the IRS. President Trump’s federal disaster declaration allows the IRS to postpone some deadlines for taxpayers and business owners in the affected areas.

Affected taxpayers who receive late filings or late payment penalty notices for these extensions should call the IRS to abate the penalty.

The IRS identifies taxpayers in Hidalgo and Cameron counties and applies automatic filing and payment relief, but those who were affected and are located outside the counties may request tax relief by calling the IRS disaster hotline at (866) 562-5227.

Others entitled to relief include anyone working with recognized government or philanthropic organizations taking part in relief efforts in the designated areas, and individuals visiting the two counties who were subsequently injured or killed.

To receive the necessary forms for tax relief, download them from or order them by calling 800-829-3676. Affected taxpayers should explain how they have been impacted by the flooding so IRS can properly consider their case.

The tax relief applies to deadlines between June 19 and Oct. 31; penalties on employment and excise tax deposits between June 19 and July 5; claiming disaster-related casualty losses on federal income tax; time-sensitive actions due between June 19 and Oct. 31; personal property losses not covered by insurance or other reimbursements; and waiving usual fees and expediting requests for copies of previous tax returns for affected.

The relief does not apply to all information filed with the IRS. For information, call 800-829-1040.