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IRS announces tax relief for Hawaii wildfire victims: deadlines extended to Aug. 7

IRS announces tax relief for Hawaii wildfire victims: deadlines extended to Aug. 7

In the wake of the devastating wildfires that recently swept through Maui and Hawaii counties, the Internal Revenue Service has stepped forward with a series of tax relief measures designed to alleviate the financial burdens on affected taxpayers.

For US expatriates with connections to these regions, this announcement holds significant implications for your tax planning and obligations.

A glimpse into the new deadlines (upd. April 2024)

The IRS has recently extended the tax relief deadline for Hawaii wildfire victims to August 7, 2024, from the previous deadline of February 15, 2024.

This extension applies to 2023 tax returns, payments, and other tax-related obligations for individuals, businesses, and tax-exempt organizations affected by the wildfires.

The relief covers a wide array of tax activities, including individual and business tax returns, estimated tax payments, and contributions to IRAs and health savings accounts.

Taxpayers located in the disaster areas will automatically receive this relief. Those outside the affected areas but eligible for relief are advised to contact the IRS.

This move aims to support the ongoing recovery efforts in Maui and Hawaii counties, providing affected US expatriates and residents additional time to manage their tax responsibilities amidst the recovery process.

Eligibility criteria: Are you covered?

The relief measures are specifically tailored for individuals, households, and businesses situated in areas recognized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as disaster zones.

Key postponements to note

  • The tax filing and payment deadlines that initially fell between Aug. 8, 2023, and Feb. 15, 2024, have been deferred.
  • For those who had secured an extension for their 2022 returns, which was set to expire on Oct. 16, 2023, the new deadline is now Feb. 15, 2024.
  • Quarterly estimated income tax payments, originally due on Sept. 15, 2023, and Jan. 16, 2024, have been postponed.

NB!Tax payments associated with the 2022 returns, which were due on April 18, 2023, do not qualify for this relief.

Automatic provisions and how they work

For taxpayers whose IRS address is already recorded within the disaster area, the IRS will automatically provide the filing and penalty relief. This means no additional paperwork or requests are necessary.

However, if you believe you qualify but haven't received any notification, it's advisable to contact the IRS directly.

Additional tax benefits on the horizon

  • Affected individuals and businesses can now claim uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses on either their 2022 or 2023 tax returns.
  • The IRS has clarified that specific disaster relief payments will be excluded from gross income, ensuring further financial relief for recipients.

Bottom line

The recent tax relief measures underscore the US government's commitment to supporting its citizens during challenging times. For US expats with ties to Hawaii, it's essential to stay informed and adjust your tax strategies accordingly.

For a deeper dive into the specifics and to understand how these changes might impact your unique situation, feel free to turn to a tax pro.

Ines Zemelman, EA
Founder of TFX