United States

IRS announces tax relief for Oklahoma flood victims

TAX ALERT  | 

Recently the IRS announced tax relief for taxpayers impacted by the recent flooding in Oklahoma. On March 22, the IRS published notice OK-2019-02 providing tax relief for Muskogee, Tulsa and Wagoner counties in Oklahoma.

Like tax relief for other major disasters, these provisions also extend to taxpayers not located within the declared disaster area but whose records, necessary to meet a tax filing deadline, are located within the impacted declared areas. Additionally, impacted taxpayers include workers assisting with the relief efforts who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization. All qualifying taxpayers with an address outside of the impacted areas must contact the IRS at 866-562-5227 to confirm the scope of their relief.

Grant of Relief

The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines due on or after May 7, 2019 and before Sept. 16, 2019. As a result, affected individuals and businesses have until Sept. 16, 2019 to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. This includes quarterly estimated income tax payments due on June 17, 2019, as well as the employment and excise tax returns due July 31, 2019.

The IRS will waive any late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due on or after May 7, 2019, and before May 22, 2019, if the deposits are made by May 22, 2019.

The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an address of record (for IRS purposes) located in the disaster area. Thus, taxpayers need not contact the IRS 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.

These declarations also trigger special provisions that give affected taxpayers the option of claiming disaster-related casualty losses on their federal income tax return either in the year the event occurred or in the preceding tax year. While personal casualty losses are no longer deductible beginning with the 2018 tax year as a result of tax reform, personal casualty losses attributable to a federally declared disaster may be claimed as a qualified disaster loss. See Publication 547 for details.

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