IRS Extends Tax-Filing Deadline for Illinois and Tennessee Tornado Victims

As promised by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), victims of recent tornados in parts of Illinois and Tennesse, like their neighbors in Kentucky, will have until May 16, 2022, to file individual and business tax returns and make tax-related payments. The IRS has offered this relief to taxpayers affected by storms, tornadoes, and flooding that took place beginning December 10 in parts of Illinois and Tennessee. Specifically, taxpayers and business owners in the Illinois counties of Bond, Cass, Coles, Effingham, Fayette, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Pike, and Shelby and residents of Cheatham, Decatur, Dickson, Dyer, Gibson, Lake, Obion, Stewart, and Weakley counties in Tennessee are eligible for these extensions.

According to the IRS, the same relief will also be provided to any other areas designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA ) in these and neighboring states. 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.” These taxpayers—who include relief workers affiliated with recognized organizations—need to call the IRS at 866-562-5227. A list of eligible areas is always available on the IRS Disaster Relief page.

Key Takeaways

  • Tornado victims in Illinois and Tennessee counties designated as disaster areas by FEMA will receive an extended (May 16, 2022) deadline to file and pay 2021 taxes in 2022.
  • Any other locality eventually so designated by FEMA will also receive the same extension according to the IRS.
  • This tax-filing extension is automatic and does not require an application.
  • A list of all eligible areas is available on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.
  • The new May 16 filing deadline includes individual & business returns, certain other business forms, 2021 IRA contributions, and farmers who forgo estimated tax payments.

What Is Included

The relief provided by the IRS affects tax-filing and payment deadlines that occur starting on Dec. 10, 2021. Affected individuals and businesses have until May 16, 2022, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period including:

  • 2021 individual income tax returns originally due on April 18
  • 2021 business returns due on March 15 and April 18
  • 2021 IRA contributions
  • Farmers who forgo estimated tax payments and normally file their returns by March 1

Jan. 18 and April 18 Quarterly Est. Tax Payments Delayed

Quarterly estimated income tax payments normally due on Jan. 18 and April 18 are now delayed for taxpayers in affected areas. Now those taxpayers can include those payments with their 2021 taxes filed on May 16, 2022.

Quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Jan. 31 and May 2, 2022, can be delayed to May 16, 2022, by businesses or individuals located in and FEMA designated disaster area as a result of the Dec. 10th and 11th tornados. In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after December 10 and before December 27 will be abated as long as the deposits take place by December 27, 2021

The IRS disaster relief page contains details on other types of returns, payments, and tax-related actions that qualify for this filing extension.

What Taxpayers Need to Do

In most cases, taxpayers don’t need to take special action as long as their address is located in a FEMA disaster area. The IRS will automatically file and provide penalty relief. It is not necessary to file for a tax extension or contact the IRS to get this relief. Taxpayers who receive a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS that they should not have received, should call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.

Taxpayers who live in a declared disaster area do not need to file for an extension for this disaster-related tax relief. The IRS will use the taxpayer’s legal address to determine eligibility and automatically grant the extension.

Anyone who lives outside the disaster area but whose tax-related records are located within the disaster area should contact the IRS at 866-562-5227 to receive assistance. In addition, workers assisting relief operations and affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization should call the number above to work with the IRS to avoid penalties.

Claiming Uninsured Losses on Tax Returns

Individuals and businesses in a federally declared disaster area in Illinois or Tennessee who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can claim those losses on their 2021 tax return filed on May 16, 2022, or as an amended 2020 tax return.

In all cases, taxpayers are advised to be sure to write the FEMA declaration number – 3577EM for Illinois or 3576EM for Tennessee − on any return claiming a loss. IRS Publication 547 contains details.

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