United States

IRS provides tax relief to victims of Hurricane Delta

TAX ALERT  | 

The Internal Revenue Service announced this week that victims of Hurricane Delta, which began on Oct. 6, 2020, now have until Feb. 16, 2021 to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments

The IRS granted postponement of certain deadlines under its section 7508A authority for those individuals and businesses located in areas designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as ) as qualifying for individual assistance. The current qualifying areas provided this relief include: Acadia, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis and Vermilion parishes in Louisiana. Taxpayers in locations that may be added later will also qualify for automatic relief. For updates, please check the IRS disaster relief site. 

The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Oct. 6, 2020. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Feb. 16, 2021, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. Therefore, individuals and calendar-year corporations having valid Oct. 15, 2020 extensions to file their 2019 returns, will now have until Feb. 16, 2021, to file. However, the tax payments related to these 2019 returns are not eligible for relief because these payments were due on July 15, 2020. 

The relief granted for Hurricane Delta is separate from the Dec. 31, 2020 relief granted for Hurricane Laura. However, taxpayers initially affected by Hurricane Laura, and who are now affected by Hurricane Delta, may additionally extend to Feb. 16, 2021. 

The Feb. 16, 2021 deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Jan. 15, 2021, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Nov. 2, 2020 and Feb. 1, 2021. It also applies to tax-exempt organizations, operating on a calendar-year basis that had a valid extension due to run out on Nov. 16, 2020. In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after October 6 and before October 21, will be abated as long as the deposits are made by Oct. 21, 2020.

The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located a qualifying area. However, the IRS advises taxpayers who receive penalty notices and who otherwise qualify for relief to call the number on the notice to request abatement. 

The IRS will additionally provide relief to 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 relief is not automatic, however, so taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227.

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