In October, we told readers about IRS relief measures that applied to some 19 Mississippi counties impacted by Hurricane Ida. That relief has now been expanded to add 63 other counties, covering the entire state, and pushing various tax filing and payment deadlines to Jan. 3, 2022.
The expansion of the IRS relief was put in motion by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its decision to add the remainder of the state’s counties to the 19 that had already been designated as eligible for federal disaster aid due to Hurricane Ida.
The current list of eligible locations can be found on the disaster relief page of IRS.gov.
The relief period previously applied to the 63 newest counties by the IRS expired November 1.
What is the structure of the relief?
The newest round of IRS relief follows a pattern used with a number of U.S. disasters this year. It postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that started on Aug. 28, 2021. Individual taxpayers and businesses within the new disaster area—namely, the entire state of Mississippi—now have until January 3 to file their returns and pay any taxes that would have been due during that time.
Individual taxpayers with valid extensions, however, should remember that while they have until Jan. 3, 2022 to file their extended returns, they do not have extra time to pay their tax due. Those payments were due on the original due date of their returns, May 17, so they aren’t covered by the IRS extended deadline.
Business deadlines are extended
Business taxpayers also have a number of deadlines extended through the IRS relief.
Quarterly estimated income tax payments normally due in September and quarterly payroll and excise tax returns otherwise due in November are all due now on January 3.
Other business filings have also been extended, including:
- Businesses with an original or extended due date
- Calendar-year partnerships and S corporations with 2020 extensions that ran out in September
- Calendar-year corporations with 2020 extensions that ran out in October
- Calendar-year tax-exempt organization with 2020 extensions that ran out in November
For details on other types of returns, payments and other tax actions that qualify for the extended deadline, see the IRS disaster relief page.
Relief is automatic
There’s no need for taxpayers—whether individual or business—to contact the IRS to see if they qualify for the extended deadlines. Here’s how it works:
The IRS screens each return, checking the taxpayer’s address of record. Addresses within the disaster area are automatically given all the benefits in the relief package.
Some taxpayers may get late-filing or late-payment notices due to the circumstances of the disaster; those taxpayers within the disaster area can call the telephone number printed on the notice to have the penalty abated.
Taxpayers who qualify for relief but live outside the disaster area should call the IRS at 866.562.5227. This includes taxpayers whose tax records needed to meet a deadline are inside the disaster area, and relief workers who live outside the disaster area but are helping with the recovery effort and work for a recognized government or philanthropic organization.
Claiming a loss on returns
Taxpayers claiming uninsured or unreimbursed losses due to Hurricane Ida can choose to claim those losses on the return for the year the loss occurred (meaning the 2021 return normally filed next year), or on the prior year return (2020).
In either case, taxpayers are reminded to write the FEMA disaster declaration number on the return claiming the loss: EM-3569 for a return claiming a loss under the original disaster declaration, or EM-4626 for a return claiming a loss under the expanded declaration.
See Publication 547 for more about claiming a loss on tax returns.
The IRS says its tax relief measures are based on local damage assessments by FEMA and are part of a coordinated federal response to the disaster. See DisasterAssistance.gov for more on disaster and the federal response.