In this moment of crisis, there has been some relaxation for the victims of Hurricane Laura. The IRS has relaxed the tax due dates for them, as now the victims of Hurricane Laura that began on 22nd of August can now file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments until December 31, 2020. Due to the storm, till now, there have been 18 deaths in Texas and Louisiana. More than half of the people died because of the poisoning of carbon monoxide from the unsafe operation of generators.
Hundreds of workers were sent to the region by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for searching and rescuing and other efforts. For FEMA assistance, there were more than 52,500 applicants and there was an inspection of 200 homes by the agency. In assistance, they also distributed $650,000 according to Tony Robinson, the administrator of that region of FEMA assistance. Many other incidents and issues took place because of the hurricane which made the IRS take the decision of extending dates.
Who Exactly Would Be Getting The Extension?
Any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance has been offered relief from the IRS. The locations are Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, and Vernon parishes in Louisiana. The same filing and payment relief would automatically be provided to the taxpayers of the localities which would be added later to the disaster relief page. To see the list of updated localities which are eligible for the relief, you can always check the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.
The individuals having a valid extension to file the 2019 return due to get over on 15th October 2020 are getting the extended date of 31st December 2020. The businesses having that criteria would also get additional time for income tax filing, including calendar-year corporations. However, the IRS cleared the fact that tax payments related to these 2019 returns were due on 15th July 2020, so those payments are not eligible for the relief. Even the quarterly estimated income tax payments that were due on 15th of September, 2020, and excise tax returns and the quarterly payroll normally due on 2nd of November, 2020 would be getting the extended deadline.
Also, the penalties that get applied on payroll and excise tax deposits due after the 22nd of August, 2020 and before 9th of September, 2020 would be abated as long as the deposits are made by 8th of September, 2020. The details on other payments, tax-related actions and payments eligible for the additional time are available on the IRS disaster relief page.
Ease for the Hurricane Victims
If any taxpayer has an IRS address of record located in the disaster area, they would automatically get filing and penalty relief from the IRS. There is no requirement for the taxpayers to contact the agency for getting the relief. However, the taxpayer should call the number on the notice for having the penalty abated if the affected receives a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS which has an extended or original filing, payment or deposit due date falling within the period of postponement.
Also, the IRS would be working with any taxpayer who is living outside the disaster area but their records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period are located in the area that has been affected. There is the need of contacting the IRS at 866-562-5227 if the taxpayer who is eligible for relief lives outside the disaster area, including the workers who would be assisting the activities of relief and have been affiliated with a philanthropic organization or recognized government.
Deduction for Damaged or Lost Property
Businesses and individuals who suffered unreimbursed or uninsured disaster-related losses in a federally declared disaster area have the option of choosing to claim them on either the return for the prior year (2019) or a 2020 return (which is due April 15, 2021). For getting a refund sooner, if you have already filed your 2019 tax return, you can file an amended return for claiming the deduction. It is necessary to mention the FEMA declaration number 4559 for Hurricane Laura in Louisiana on any return claiming for a loss.
The damage caused by the hurricane got the response with this tax relief which is a part of a coordinated federal response and is based on damaging of local assessments by FEMA. Visit disasterassistance.gov for information on disaster recovery.
To get more information on tax help available to people who have been impacted by Hurricane Laura, see Tax Relief for Hurricane, Wildfire, Flood and Other Natural Disaster Victims.