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IRS tax relief for natural disaster victims
IRS tax relief for natural disaster victims

IRS Provides Tax Relief for Tornado Victims in Parts of Mississippi, Tennessee, and South Carolina

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The IRS announced that victims of the April tornadoes, severe storms and flooding that occurred in certain areas of Mississippi, Tennessee and South Carolina will now have until October 15 instead of July 15 to file tax year 2019 federal individual and business tax returns including any payments of taxes owed. The IRS is offering this relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for assistance.

The tax relief postpones tax filing and payment deadlines that started on April 12 and that were originally extended to July 15 due to COVID-19. The October 15 extended tax deadline also applies to first and second quarter estimated tax payments that were originally extended to July 15 and to the third quarter estimated tax payment due on September 15. Affected taxpayers will also have until October 15 to make 2019 IRA contributions which may lower their 2019 taxes.

The IRS automatically provides filing and payment relief to taxpayers with an IRS address on record located in the disaster area. 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 dropped.

In addition, the IRS will work with taxpayers who live outside the disaster area but whose records necessary to meet a deadline within 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, once normal operations resume. For information on services currently available from the IRS, visit the IRS operations and services page at IRS.gov/Coronavirus. 

If you are in a federally declared disaster area and suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses you can claim them on either your tax return for the year the loss occurred (in this instance, your 2020 tax return filed in 2021), or you can claim the loss on your 2019 tax return this year.

For a list of localities eligible for relief check out the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

Don’t worry about knowing these and other tax rules. TurboTax will ask you simple questions about you and give you the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for based on your answers. If you have questions, you can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent with an average 15 years-experience, to get your questions answered from the comfort of your home. TurboTax Live CPAs and Enrolled Agents are available in English and Spanish, year-round and can also review, sign, and file your return.

Lisa Greene-Lewis

Lisa has over 20 years of experience in tax preparation. Her success is attributed to being able to interpret tax laws and help clients better understand them. She has held positions as a public auditor, controller, and operations manager. Lisa has appeared on the Steve Harvey Show, the Ellen Show, and major news broadcast to break down tax laws and help taxpayers understand what tax laws mean to them. For Lisa, getting timely and accurate information out to taxpayers to help them keep more of their money is paramount. More from Lisa Greene-Lewis

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