Tax Breaks

IRS Extends Tax Deadlines for Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana Winter Storm Victims

Following FEMA's recent disaster declaration for winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, victims of the recent winter storms in those states get more time to file and pay taxes.

Victims of February's winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana can wait until June 15, 2021, to file their 2020 federal income tax return. This announcement from the IRS follows a disaster area declaration from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for those three states. Taxpayers in other states impacted by the storms that receive similar FEMA disaster declarations will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief.

Various federal tax filing and payment due dates for individuals and businesses from February 8 (Oklahoma) or February 11 (Texas and Louisiana) to June 14 will be shifted to June 15. In addition to the May 17 personal income tax filing deadline, this includes:

  • Various 2020 business returns usually due on March 15;
  • 2020 IRA contributions originally due on May 17;
  • Quarterly estimated income tax payments normally due on April 15;
  • Quarterly payroll and excise tax returns ordinarily due on April 30; and
  • 2020 returns for tax-exempt organizations typically due on May 17.

In Oklahoma, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due from February 8 to February 23 will also be waived if the deposits are made by February 23. In Texas and Louisiana, the same applies for deposits due from February 11 to February 26 they're are made by February 26.

You don't have to contact the IRS to get this relief. However, if you receive 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, you should call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.

In addition, the IRS will work with any taxpayer who live elsewhere, but whose records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period are located in Texas, Oklahoma or Louisiana. Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live in another state need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227. This also includes workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization.

Individuals and businesses in a federally declared disaster area who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on either the return for the year the loss occurred (in this instance, the 2021 return normally filed next year), or the return for the prior year. This means that taxpayers can, if they choose, claim these losses on the 2020 return they are filling out this tax season. Be sure to write the FEMA declaration number (4586 for Texas, 4587 for Oklahoma, 4590 for Louisiana) on any return claiming a loss. It's also a good idea for affected taxpayers claiming the disaster loss on a 2020 return to put the Disaster Designation (e.g., "Oklahoma – Severe Winter Storms") in bold letters at the top of the form. See IRS Publication 547 for details.

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