Hawaii IRS Tax Deadline Extended After Devastating Wildfires

Some Hawaii tax deadlines have been extended by the IRS following devastating wildfires. Here's what impacted residents should know.

LAHAINA, HAWAII - AUGUST 18, 2023 - Burned palm trees stand in a neighborhood that was destroyed by wildfires in Lahaina, Hawaii, on Aug. 18, 2023.
(Image credit: Tamir Kalifa for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Recognizing the monumental toll the wildfire disaster has taken on Maui and Hawaii counties, the IRS is offering some residents of Hawaii tax deadline extensions. And the move isn't a solo effort. The Hawaii Department of Taxation has also announced tax relief for those impacted by the wildfires.

Certain federal tax filings and payments originally due between August 8, 2023, and February 14, 2024, are extended to February 15, 2024, according to the IRS. As with tax deadline extensions issued this past year due to natural disasters in several states, the IRS extension for Hawaii is designed to mitigate some of the immediate financial pressures many Hawaiians are grappling with during this pivotal recovery phase.

On the night of August 8, 2023, a devastating series of wildfires broke out in Hawaii, resulting in the loss of at least 115 lives and damage to over 3,000 properties, including several homes, businesses, and historical landmarks. According to a press release issued by the County of Maui earlier this week, 388 people were reported unaccounted for following the Lahaina wildfire. Damage estimates are roughly $6 billion, and Hawaiian Electric is currently facing legal action over claims of negligence concerning the maintenance of power lines. 

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President Biden issued a press release on August 10, declaring a major disaster in Hawaii. Last week, the President and the first lady, Jill Biden, visited the Lahaina disaster area, meeting with several wildfire survivors and first responders.

Hawaii tax deadline relief from the IRS

Taxpayers with an original tax extension deadline of October 16 now have until February 15, 2024, to file their federal tax returns. However, this tax relief doesn't extend to tax payments for 2022 tax returns, which were due on April 18.

In addition to the federal tax filing deadline extension, the IRS deadline relief also applies to the following:

  • Deadlines for filing quarterly payroll and excise tax returns, initially due on October 31, 2023, and January 31, 2024, are also extended to February 15, 2024.
  • Quarterly estimated tax payments, normally due on Sept. 15, 2023, and Jan. 16, 2024, are now due February 15, 2024.
  • Penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after Aug. 8, 2023, and before Sept. 7, 2023, will be waived if payments are made by September 7, 2023.

What does this mean? If you're a business owner who had to divert funds for immediate recovery efforts, you now have more time to get your tax obligations in order without the added burden of penalties. This could be an opportunity to reallocate resources and focus on rebuilding your company without the immediate stress of additional financial liabilities.

IRS dedicated disaster hotline 

If you reside in the designated disaster zones of Maui and Hawaii counties, the IRS has implemented an automatic recognition system. As a result, you'll automatically receive extended tax benefits, reducing the need for additional paperwork and easing administrative stress.

But IRS support isn't limited to those regions. Understanding that the wildfires may have a ripple effect (impacting individuals who live or own businesses outside the designated areas), the IRS has established a dedicated disaster hotline. 

By calling 866-562-5227, you can discuss your situation and potentially benefit from tax relief, even if your circumstances don't fit into predefined guidelines.

Hawaii tax relief and resources

In addition to the IRS's provisions, the Hawaii Department of Taxation has also announced tax relief for impacted residents. 

  • The Department may grant requests for taxpayers impacted by the wildfires, including tax filing and payment deadlines, on a case-by-case basis. 
  • To request relief, taxpayers should prepare a" brief statement explaining what specific relief they are requesting and how the wildfire disaster adversely affected their ability to meet their tax obligation."

For more information about how to request Hawaii state tax relief, taxpayers can contact the Hawaii Department of Taxation by telephone or via email by referencing "2023 Wildfire Relief."

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Kiana Curtis

Kiana Curtis is a freelance writer and licensed mortgage professional with a Bachelor's in Business Administration. With over six years working in various business settings, Kiana specializes in writing about finance, real estate, and marketing. Her unique blend of practical experience and financial acumen allows her to transform complex topics into accessible advice for readers.