Between September 17th and 21st, Tropical Storm Imelda caused chaos in Texas and Louisiana, bringing up to 43 inches of flooding rain to some areas. The tempest caused at least 5 deaths and over 2 billion dollars in damages, leaving many families without homes or their belongings. In the months since Imelda dissipated, many have struggled to piece their lives back together into a semblance of normal. However, one small comfort to Imelda victims in Texas is the recently announced tax deadline extensions for those affected.
The IRS recently announced its intention to offer an extension until late January to file both business and individual tax returns, as well as to make tax payments. According to Accounting Today, this grace period has been offered to residents of Chambers, Harris, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery and Orange Counties, with eligible localities still being added on the IRS website.
Which Deadlines Are Affected?
The extension affects returns and tax payments originally due in mid-September 2019, existing valid extensions due to run out in October 2019, and quarterly estimated taxes due on January 15, 2020.
Tax-exempt organizations and calendar year-corporations with extensions that were due to end on Oct 15th will also benefit from this relief. In addition, as long as deposits were made before the October 2, 2019 deadline, penalties on excise and payroll tax deposits due on September 17th will also be decreased or waived.
How to Claim the Extension
If you are in one of the counties affected by the extension for Imelda victims but you still receive a late filing or payment penalty notice from the IRS for a tax return or payment due within the postponement time frame, you can call the phone number listed on the notice you were given in order to have the penalty lessened or removed.
If you live outside the disaster area but had records necessary for filing or payment within the affected counties, you can contact the IRS to negotiate penalties and deadlines relevant to your situation.
If you are a taxpayer that qualifies for relief, but you live outside the disaster area, please call (866) 562-5227.
While Imelda was certainly disruptive and in some cases devastating to those in the affected area, hopefully there is at least a small measure of relief in this tax extension announcement, which should dissipate some of the financial stress of tax season for victims.