The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that due to a series of severe winter storms that impacted portions of the United States this winter, the traditional deadline to file taxes on April 15 has shifted to June 15. The new date is in effect in Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma. Due to challenges created by new legislation, the IRS has also extended tax day to May 17 for the rest of the country . With that new extension to May 17, an extended tax day in Mississippi due to Hurricane Zeta has been superseded by the new date.
Victims of February’s winter storms in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma will have until June 15, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service announced.
The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on February 11. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until June 15, 2021, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. This includes 2020 individual and business returns normally due on April 15, as well as various 2020 business returns due on March 15. Among other things, this also means that affected taxpayers will have until June 15 to make 2020 IRA contributions.
The June 15 deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments due on April 15 and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on April 30. It also applies to tax-exempt organizations, operating on a calendar-year basis, that have a 2020 return due on May 17.
The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty 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. Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227. This also includes workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization.
Individuals and businesses in a federally declared disaster area who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on either the return for the year the loss occurred (in this instance, the 2021 return normally filed next year), or the return for the prior year. This means that taxpayers can, if they choose, claim these losses on the 2020 return they are filling out this tax season. Be sure to write the FEMA declaration number – 4586 − on any return claiming a loss.
According to the IRS, affected taxpayers in a federally declared disaster area have the option of claiming disaster-related casualty losses on their federal income tax return for either the year in which the event occurred, or the prior year.
Americans outside of these weather disaster areas will also have more time to file and pay their taxes this year. The Internal Revenue Service has pushed the April 15 tax day deadline to May 17.
“Even with the new deadline, we urge taxpayers to consider filing as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds. Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds, and it can help some taxpayers more quickly receive any remaining stimulus payments they may be entitled to,” said IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig in a statement released to the media.
This relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021. These payments are still due on April 15. Taxes must be paid as taxpayers earn or receive income during the year, either through withholding or estimated tax payments. In general, estimated tax payments are made quarterly to the IRS by people whose income isn’t subject to income tax withholding, including self-employment income, interest, dividends, alimony or rental income. Most taxpayers automatically have their taxes withheld from their paychecks and submitted to the IRS by their employer.
To complicate matters, the tax extension only applies to federal taxes paid to the IRS. Not all states follow the federal tax filing deadline; contact your tax professional or your state tax agency to see if the extension applies to your related state income taxes that would be due on April 15, 2021 this year.