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IRS Offers Tax Relief to Disaster-Affected Taxpayers in California, Alabama, and Georgia

IRS Offers Tax Relief to Disaster-Affected Taxpayers in California, Alabama, and Georgia
Ines Zemelman, EA
03 March 2023

The IRS has announced that taxpayers in certain areas of California, Alabama, and Georgia designated as disaster zones by FEMA will have until October 16, 2023, to file their federal individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. This is an extension from the previous deadline of May 15, 2023.

The IRS is offering this relief to any area designated by FEMA in these three states. There are four different eligible FEMA declarations, and the start dates and other details vary for each of these disasters. The current list of eligible localities and other details for each disaster are always available on the Tax Relief in Disaster Situations page on IRS.gov.

The additional relief postpones until October 16 various tax filing and payment deadlines, including those for most calendar-year 2022 individual and business returns. This includes:

  • Individual income tax returns, originally due on April 18
  • Various business returns, normally due on March 15 and April 18
  • Returns of tax-exempt organizations, normally due on May 15.

This means that eligible taxpayers will also have until October 16 to make 2022 contributions to their IRAs and health savings accounts.

The extension also applies to farmers and fishers who failed to pay their complete estimated taxes for 2022 by January 17th; they now are required to submit their tax return for 2022 and pay the full tax amount by March 1st.

Individuals who have fully paid their estimated taxes by January 17th can adhere to the regular April 18th deadline for filing their tax returns and prevent estimated tax penalties.

What Else the Extended Deadline Applies to?

The October 16 deadline also applies to the estimated tax payment for the fourth quarter of 2022, originally due on January 17, 2023. This means that taxpayers can skip making this payment and instead include it with the 2022 return they file, on or before October 16.

The same date also applies to 2023 estimated tax payments, normally due on April 18, June 15, and September 15. It also applies to the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on January 31, April 30, and July 31.

The Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Businesses page has details on other returns, payments, and tax-related actions qualifying for the additional time. Taxpayers in the affected areas do not need to file any extension paperwork, and they do not need to call the IRS to qualify for the extended time.

NOTE! Taxpayers should know that an extension to file is not an extension to pay taxes. If they owe taxes, they should pay them before the due date to avoid potential penalties and interest on the amount owed.

Taxpayers who request a six-month extension to file their taxes have until October 16, 2023, to file their 2022 federal income tax return.

Any More Reliefs?

Yes. The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. Therefore, taxpayers do not need to contact the agency to get this relief.

However, if an affected taxpayer receives 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, the taxpayer should call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.

In addition, the IRS will work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area but whose records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period are located in the affected area. Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area 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 or the return for the prior year. See Publication 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts for details.

Why Tax Relief?

The tax relief is part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by these storms and is based on local damage assessments by FEMA. The IRS encourages affected taxpayers to take advantage of the relief and notes that taxpayers should be aware that tax-related deadlines that are not postponed by this relief effort may still apply. Thus, affected taxpayers who are located outside the disaster area are expected to continue to meet tax obligations, including meeting filing deadlines, paying taxes, and making deposits. Furthermore, the IRS will continue to monitor the situation and will provide additional relief as necessary.

Additionally, the relief extends to 2022 contributions to IRAs and health savings accounts, and 2023 estimated tax payments, normally due on April 18, June 15, and September 15. The IRS is automatically providing filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area.

Finally, the IRS encourages affected taxpayers to take advantage of the relief and reminds them that tax-related deadlines that are not postponed by this relief effort may still apply.

Feel like better take advantage of the offered tax relief?

Request an Extension
Ines Zemelman, EA
Founder of TFX