Tax Relief for Storm Victims Expands to Northeast
Just as Hurricane Ida wreaked danger and misery to people from Louisiana to the Northeast, the Internal Revenue Service is expanding its tax relief for the storm’s victims.
This latest relief is targeted for taxpayers in New York and New Jersey.
“During this difficult time, the IRS stands ready to help victims of Hurricane Ida,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “We want people affected by this devastating hurricane focused on their safety and recovery for themselves and their families. To provide assistance now and in the weeks ahead, we have a variety of different types of relief available to help people and businesses affected by this disaster.”
The relief package follows the structure of the relief measures granted to Louisiana and the Gulf Coast earlier, with modified dates to compensate for the delay in Ida’s travel to the East Coast.
The relief package applies to taxpayers in any area that has been named by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as being qualified for individual or public assistance.
In New York, this currently includes Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond and Westchester counties, and in New Jersey, it includes Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic and Somerset counties. Other counties or localities may be added to the FEMA list. Any new locations are immediately eligible for the IRS relief once it joins the federal disaster declaration.
To check the locations currently eligible for relief, see the disaster relief page on the IRS website.
The relief delays deadlines
Like the Louisiana relief announced earlier, this newest package pushes the deadlines back to file and pay a number of varied taxes that would normally have deadlines of Sept. 1, 2021, or later.
The relief package pushes those file-and-pay deadlines back to Jan. 3, 2022. This includes taxpayers who already had an extension to file by Oct. 12; they now have until Jan. 3, 2022, to file their taxes.
It should be noted, however, that since the payment of taxes on those extended returns was due back in May—long before Ida came ashore—their payments aren’t covered by the relief package.
Also included in the expanded New York and New Jersey relief language are the quarterly estimated tax payments and excise tax returns that would otherwise be due in November.
Eligible entities for the relief measures include:
- Tax-exempt organizations, operating on a calendar-year basis, that had a valid extension due to run out on November 15, 2021
- Calendar-year partnerships and S corporations whose 2020 extensions run out on September 15, 2021
- Calendar-year corporations whose 2020 extensions run out on October 15, 2021
The IRS says it will abate any penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits that are normally due between September 1 and September 16, as long as the deposits are made no later than Sept. 16 of this year.
For a complete list of relief, payments, dates and other relief package information, see the IRS disaster reliefpage on IRS.gov.
No action is necessary to get the relief
The IRS relief measures are automatic; no action is needed by taxpayers to qualify. The agency uses a taxpayer’s address of record to match up with the list of federally declared disaster areas, enabling the various relief measures.
Taxpayers in the eligible disaster areas, however, who get IRS notices with original or extended filings shouldcall the IRS—using the phone number included on the notice—to have their penalty abated.
Taxpayers, whether individuals or businesses, can claim their uninsured or unreimbursed losses either on the return for the year the loss occurred (such as the 2021 return that’s normally filed next year), or the return for the year prior to the loss (in this case, 2020).
Either way, taxpayers must remember to put the FEMA declaration number for their area on any return claiming a loss. These are:
- 4614 for New Jersey
- 4615 for New York
For more information, see Publication 547.
Check out DisasterAssistance.gov for details on FEMA and its response to Hurricane Ida.