IRS announces tax relief for Louisiana winter storm victims

Staff Report

Victims of winter storms Feb. 11 to Feb. 19 have until June 15 to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service announced last week.

Following the recent disaster declaration issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS announced that affected taxpayers in all 64 parishes will receive tax relief. This includes Individuals and households affected by severe winter storms that reside or have a business in any of these parishes.

A state trooper assists at a crash during the February winter storm in Louisiana.

The declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain tax-filing and tax-payment deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after Feb. 11, and before June 15, are postponed through June 15. This includes 2020 business returns, normally due on March 15, and individual and business returns normally due on April 15. It also includes the special March 1 filing and payment deadline for farmers and fishers who forgo making estimated tax payments. Taxpayers also have until June 15 to make 2020 IRA contributions.

The June 15 deadline applies to the first quarter estimated tax payment due on April 15. It also applies to the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on April 30. In addition, it applies to tax-exempt organizations, operating on a calendar-year basis, that have a 2020 return due on May 17. In addition, penalties on deposits due on or after Feb. 11 and before Feb. 26, will be abated as long as the tax deposits were made by Feb. 26.

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 that falls within the postponement period, the taxpayer should call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS abate the penalty. For information on services currently available, visit IRS.gov/coronavirus.

The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies filing and payment relief. But affected taxpayers who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area should call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 to request this tax relief.