Tax Deadlines Extended for Victims of Recent Storms, Flooding and Related Disasters in Washington

FEMA's recent disaster declaration opens door for extended federal tax filing and payment deadlines for victims of the November storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides in Washington.

picture of muddy flood waters rushing through a door
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Residents and business in Washington State impacted by the severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, landslides, and mudslides beginning November 5, 2021, now have until March 15, 2022, to file and pay certain federal taxes. The IRS extended the deadlines after parts of the state were declared a disaster area by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The tax relief applies to residents and businesses in Clallam, Island, Jefferson, Lewis, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties who were affected by the November natural disasters listed above. This includes victims who reside or have a business in the Hoh Indian Tribe, Lummi Nation, Nooksack Indian Tribe, Quileute Tribe, and Swinomish Indian Community.

Various federal tax filing and payment due dates for individuals and businesses from November 5 to March 14 will be shifted to March 15. This includes the quarterly estimated tax payments that are due on January 18, 2022.

The tax relief also applies to the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on January 31, 2022. Penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due from November 5 to November 21 will also be waived if the deposits were made by November 22, 2021.

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Victims of the storms, straight-line winds, flooding, landslides, and mudslides in Washington 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, call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.

The IRS will also waive fees for obtaining copies of previously filed tax returns for taxpayers affected by the November natural disaster. When requesting copies of a tax return or a tax return transcript, write "Washington Severe Storms, Straight-Line Winds, Flooding, Landslides and Mudslides" in bold letters at the top of Form 4506 (opens in new tab) (copy of return) or Form 4506-T (opens in new tab) (transcript) and send it to the IRS.

In addition, the IRS will work with any taxpayer who lives outside Washington, 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 that you will file this year), or the return for the prior year. This means that taxpayers can, if they choose, file an amended return to claim these losses on their 2020 return. Be sure to write the FEMA declaration number (DR-4635-WA) on any return claiming a loss. It's also a good idea for affected taxpayers claiming the disaster loss on an amended 2020 return to put the Disaster Designation ("Washington Severe Storms, Straight-Line Winds, Flooding, Landslides and Mudslides") in bold letters at the top of the form. See IRS Publication 547 (opens in new tab) for details.

Rocky Mengle
Senior Tax Editor, Kiplinger.com

Rocky is a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, he worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky has a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.