IRS extends May 17, other Tax Deadlines for Victims of Tennessee storms; provides Special Guidelines for Disaster Area Individuals needing further Extensions | site |


(Information contained in U.S. Internal Revenue Service [IRS] press release dated: May 14, 2021)

Washington - - Victims of this spring's storms and tornadoes in Tennessee will have until August 2, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.

Following The recent disaster declaration issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the IRS is providing this relief to taxpayers affected by storms, tornadoes, and flooding that took place between March 25 and April 3, 2021, in parts of Tennessee. Currently, relief is available to affected taxpayers who live or have a business in Campbell, Cannon, Cheatham, Claiborne, Clay, Davidson, Decatur, Fentress, Grainger, Hardeman, Henderson, Hickman, Jackson, Madison, Maury, McNairy, Moore, Overton, Scott, Smith, Wayne, Williamson and Wilson counties. The current list of eligible localities is always available on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on March 25. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until August 2 to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. This includes 2020 individual income tax returns due on May 17, as well as various 2020 business returns normally due on April 15. Among other things, this also means that affected taxpayers will have until August 2 to make 2020 IRA contributions.

The August 2 deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments due on April 15 and June 15, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on April 30. It also applies to tax-exempt organizations, operating on a calendar-year basis, that have a 2020 return due on May 17.

In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after March 25 and before April 9 will be abated as long as the deposits were made by April 9.

The IRS disaster relief page has details on other returns, payments and tax-related actions qualifying for the additional time.

The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. Therefore, taxpayers do not need to contact the agency 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 the 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 in a federally-declared disaster area who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on either the return for the year the loss occurred (in this instance, the 2021 return normally filed next year), or the return for the prior year. This means that taxpayers can, if they choose, claim these losses on the 2020 return they are filling out this tax season. Be sure to write the FEMA declaration number – 4601DR − on any return claiming a loss. See Publication 547 for details.

The tax relief is part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by these storms and is based on local damage assessments by FEMA. For information on disaster recovery, visit disasterassistance.gov .

Besides Tennessee, taxpayers in part or all of five other states also have more time to file and pay:
  • Individuals and businesses in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana have until June 15 to file and pay. All taxpayers in these three states qualify for relief.
  • Individuals and businesses in parts of Kentucky have until June 30 to file and pay.
  • Individuals and businesses in parts of Alabama have until August 2 to file and pay.
Disaster area individuals who need more time to file, beyond these postponed deadlines, can get it by submitting a request for an automatic extension. This will extend their filing deadline until October 15, 2021. The IRS emphasized that this additional extension is not an extension of time to pay.

An easy way to get the extra time is through Free File on IRS.gov. In a matter of minutes, anyone, regardless of income, can use this free service to electronically request an extension on Form 4868. To get the extension, taxpayers must estimate their tax liability on this form.

Another option is to pay electronically and get a tax-filing extension. The IRS will automatically process an extension when a taxpayer selects Form 4868 and makes a full or partial federal tax payment by the May 17 due date using Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) or a debit or credit card. Note that registration is required before using EFTPS. To learn more about each of these electronic payment options, visit IRS.gov/payments .

The IRS emphasized that May 17 is the last day to request an extension using any of these electronic options. After May 17, disaster-area taxpayers who need more time to file must make that request on paper. To do that, file Form 4868, available on IRS.gov. For more information about extensions, visit IRS.gov/extension .