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IRS Announces Tax Relief for Victims of Hurricane Laura

Tax relief for Hurricane Laura victims

Following the recent destruction caused by Hurricane Laura, the IRS announced tax relief for those impacted and in any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance. This includes Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis and Vernon parishes in Louisiana. Taxpayers in localities added later to the disaster area will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief.

The relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on August 22, 2020. As a result, the victims of hurricane Laura have until December 31, 2020 to file certain individual and business tax returns, and make certain tax payments. This includes:

The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. As a result, taxpayers do not need to contact the IRS 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 an 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 who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related casualty losses can choose to claim them on either the tax return for the year the loss occurred (in this instance, the tax year 2020 return filed in 2021), or the loss can be deducted on the tax return for the prior year (2019).  Be sure to write the FEMA declaration number – 4559 − for Hurricane Laura in Louisiana on any return claiming a loss.

For more information about available disaster recovery, visit disasterassistance.gov.  Also, check back with the TurboTax blog for more updates.