IRS extends tax deadlines for winter storm victims in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana

Victims of the February winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana can wait until June 15, 2021 to file their 2020 income tax returns. This IRS announcement follows a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster area declaration for these three states. Taxpayers in other states affected by the storms who receive similar FEMA disaster declarations will automatically receive the same filing and payment facility.

Various due dates for filing and paying taxes for individuals and businesses from February 8 (Oklahoma) or February 11 (Texas and Louisiana) through June 14 will be postponed to June 15:

  • Various business returns for 2020 are usually due on March 15th.
  • 2020 IRA contributions originally due May 17th;
  • Estimated quarterly income tax payments, typically due April 15;
  • Quarterly payroll and excise returns, normally due April 30th; and
  • 2020 tax returns for exempt organizations, which are normally due on May 17th.

Oklahoma will also waive wage and excise tax payments due February 8-23 if payments are made by February 23. In Texas and Louisiana, this also applies to deposits due February 11-26, which will be made by February 26th.

You don’t have to go to the IRS to get this relief. However, if you receive a late filing or late payment notification from the IRS whose original or extended filing, payment or deposit date is within the deferred period, you should call the number on the notice to reduce the penalty.

Additionally, the IRS works with any taxpayer who lives elsewhere but whose records are required to meet a deadline that occurs during the grace period in Texas, Oklahoma, or Louisiana. Taxpayers who qualify for relief and live in another state must contact the IRS at 866-562-5227. This includes workers who support the relief effort and who belong to a recognized government or philanthropic organization.

Individuals and companies in a disaster area declared by the federal government who have suffered uninsured or non-reimbursed catastrophe-related losses can either claim them for the return for the year in which the damage occurred (in this case the return normally submitted in the next year 2021) or claim for the return for the previous year. This means that taxpayers can, at their own discretion, claim these losses on the 2020 tax return they fill out this tax season. Make sure to write the FEMA declaration number (4586 for Texas, 4587 for Oklahoma, 4590 for Louisiana) on any return that makes a loss claim. It is also a good idea for affected taxpayers claiming disaster loss on a 2020 return to put the disaster name (e.g., “Oklahoma – Severe Winter Storms”) in bold letters at the top of the form. See IRS Publication 547 for more information.