Federal Tax Relief Available for Severe Storm Victims
Author: Robert Goodfriend
The IRS is offering temporary tax filing relief for taxpayers affected by historic storms in several states in recent months. Certain tax filing deadlines have been postponed for taxpayers in the following federal disaster areas declared by the president.
The covered area includes Bastrop, Blanco, Caldwell, Denton, Eastland, Fort Bend, Gaines, Guadalupe, Harris, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Johnson, Milam, Montague, Navarro, Rusk, Smith, Travis, Van Zandt, Wichita, Williamson and Wise counties.
For taxpayers who reside or have a business in the covered disaster area, certain deadlines falling on or after May 4, 2015, have been postponed until November 2, 2015. These include the June 15 and September 15 deadlines for making estimated tax payments and July 31 deadline for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns.
Relief applies to taxpayers in Bath, Bourbon, Carter, Elliott, Franklin, Jefferson, Lawrence, Madison, Rowan and Scott counties. Certain deadlines falling on or after April 2, 2015, have been postponed until July 31, 2015—including the June 15 estimated tax payment deadline—for taxpayers living or owning businesses in these counties.
Federal relief is available to taxpayers residing or owning businesses in Atoka, Bryan, Cleveland, Comanche, Grady, Johnston, Kiowa, Le Flore, McClain, McCurtain, Oklahoma, Pittsburg and Pottawatomie counties.
Some deadlines falling on or after May 5, 2015, have been postponed until August 31, 2015, for affected taxpayers. These include the June 15 deadline for making estimated tax payments and July 31 deadline for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns.
In all cases, the relief also covers the Form 5500 series of returns.
The IRS identifies taxpayers in covered disaster areas and applies automatic filing and payment relief. Taxpayers not in a covered area who have records necessary to meet a deadline in the covered disaster area also qualify. Relief does not include state and local filings. Other locations may be added based on additional damage assessments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency; updates will be posted to the IRS website.
Affected taxpayers in a federally declared disaster area have the option of claiming disaster-related casualty losses on their federal income tax return for this year or last year. Claiming the loss on an original or amended return for last year generally provides an earlier refund, but waiting to claim the loss on this year’s return could result in greater tax savings, depending on other income tax-related factors.
Affected taxpayers who reside or have a business outside the covered disaster area must call the IRS disaster hotline at 866.562.5227 to request this relief. If you have any questions, please contact your BKD advisor.