James D. Lynch
Tax Relief for Victims of Tropical Storm Imelda
Victims of Tropical Storm Imelda in parts of Texas, including the Houston area, have until Jan. 31, 2020, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.
The IRS is offering this relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance. Currently this includes Chambers, Harris, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery and Orange counties in Texas. Taxpayers in localities added later to the disaster area will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief. 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 Sept. 17, 2019. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Jan. 31, 2020, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. For example, individuals who had a valid extension to file their 2018 return due to run out on Oct. 15, 2019, will now have until Jan. 31, 2020, to file. The IRS noted, however, that because tax payments related to these 2018 returns were due on April 15, 2019, those payments are not eligible for this relief. The Jan. 31, 2020 deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Jan. 15, 2020, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Oct. 31, 2019.
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. Taxpayers who live outside the disaster area but whose records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period are located in the affected area need to contact the IRS.