Tax Breaks

IRS Extends Tax Deadlines for West Virginia Storm Victims

Following FEMA's recent disaster declaration for severe storms and flooding in the Mountain State, impacted taxpayers get more time to file and pay certain federal taxes.

Resident of certain West Virginia counties can wait until June 30, 2021, to file their 2020 federal income tax return. The IRS extended this and other tax deadlines because of the severe storms and flooding that began on February 27, 2021, in parts of the state that were declared a disaster area by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The tax relief applies to residents of Boone, Cabell, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo, and Wayne Counties.

Various federal tax filing and payment due dates for individuals and businesses from February 27 to June 29 will be shifted to June 30. 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 and June 15;
  • Quarterly payroll and excise tax returns ordinarily due on April 30; and
  • 2020 returns for tax-exempt organizations typically due on May 17.

Penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due from February 27 to March 14 will also be waived if the deposits were made by March 15.

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 lives outside West Virginia, but whose records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period are located in the state. 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 their 2020 return. Be sure to write the FEMA declaration number (FEMA 4605-DR) 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 ("West Virginia Severe Storms and Flooding") in bold letters at the top of the form. See IRS Publication 547 for details.

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