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IRS Extends Tax Due Dates for Tennessee Tornado Victims

Victims of the recent tornadoes in and around Nashville will have until July 15 to file tax returns and make tax payments.

Victims of the recent tornadoes and severe storms in and around Nashville, Tennessee, will have until July 15, 2020, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

The tax relief is available for taxpayers in any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance. Currently, this includes Davidson, Putnam and Wilson counties. However, taxpayers in places added later to the disaster area will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief.

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The IRS will also work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area but whose tax records are in the disaster area. Call the IRS at 866-562-5227 if you face this situation.

Deadlines Extended

The deadlines that are extended include the April 15 due date for 2019 individual and business returns, as well as various 2019 business returns due on March 15.

Tornado victims will also have until July 15 to make 2019 IRA contributions.

The July 15 extended deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments due on April 15 and June 15, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on April 30.

Taxpayers don't need to contact the IRS to get this relief. However, if an affected person receives a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS, he or she should call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.

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The IRS disaster relief page has details on other returns, payments and tax-related actions qualifying for additional time.

Deduction for Damaged or Lost Property

Tennessee tornado victims may be able to claim a tax deduction for unreimbursed damaged or lost property. To do so, they typically must itemize and file Schedule A with their tax return. However, victims who claim the standard deduction may still be able to deduct their losses if they can claim them as business losses on Schedule C.

The deduction can be claimed on either a 2019 tax year return (which is due April 15, 2020) or a 2020 return (which is due next year). In either case, a tornado victim must write the FEMA declaration number – 4476 – on the return claiming the deduction.

See IRS Publication 547 for more information about writing off disaster losses.

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