IRS Offers Disaster Relief, Including More Time

Additional time and faster refunds for FEMA-designated disaster areas


When the federal government declares a location to be a major disaster area – such as the recent tornadoes, storms and flooding that took place in areas of the south – the IRS often offers help to help taxpayers and businesses recover financially.


This might include granting additional time to file returns and pay taxes as well as obtaining a faster refund by claiming losses related to the disaster on tax returns.


IRS Extends July 15th Deadline

For example, in late June the IRS issued the following press release:

“Victims of the April tornadoes, severe storms and flooding that took place in parts of Mississippi, Tennessee and South Carolina will have until October 15, 2020, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.


The IRS is offering this relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance. Currently, this includes Clarke, Covington, Grenada, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lawrence, Panola and Walthall counties in Mississippi, Bradley and Hamilton counties in Tennessee and Aiken, Barnwell, Berkeley, Colleton, Hampton, Marlboro, Oconee, Orangeburg and Pickens counties in South Carolina.


Taxpayers in localities added later to the disaster area will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief. The current list of eligible localities is always available on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.


The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on April 12. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until October 15, 2020, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. This includes 2019 individual and business returns that, due to COVID-19, were due on July 15. Among other things, this also means that affected taxpayers will have until October 15 to make 2019 IRA contributions.


The Oct. 15 deadline also applies to estimated tax payments for the first two quarters of 2020 that were due on July 15, and the third quarter estimated tax payment normally due on September 15. It also includes the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on April 30 and July 31.


In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after April 12 and before April 27 will be abated as long as the deposits were made by April 27.”


Automatic Extensions

The IRS further stated that:

“The IRS automatically provides filing and payment relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. Therefore, taxpayers do not need to contact the agency to get this relief. However, if an affected taxpayer receives a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS that has an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date falling within the postponement period, the taxpayer should call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.


In addition, the IRS will work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area but whose records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period are located in the affected area. This also includes workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization.”


Talk to Your Advisor

The IRS has established a disaster relief page on its website and it is constantly updated as details emerge. Your tax professional and your financial advisor can also provide you more information to ensure that your tax decisions are in line with your overall financial plan.


Published by FMeX - Financial Media Exchange

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