: Hurricane Ida victims will have extra time to file their 2020 tax returns, IRS says

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As Hurricane Ida victims survey the damage and start the slow recovery process, they’ll have more time to file and pay certain taxes, the Internal Revenue Service announced Tuesday.

Residents and business owners in Louisiana — who endured the brunt of the Category 4 hurricane that made landfall Sunday— now have until Jan. 3, 2022 to submit their 2020 federal tax returns, the IRS said. People living in other nearby areas designated for disaster relief will also get the extra time.

Though May 17 marked the deadline to file a return and pay any taxes owed for 2020, the new deadline applies to people who had requested an extension to file their 2020 return by Oct. 15.

They’ll now have a Jan. 3 deadline to file what could be an especially important return for some, because people can use it claim any missed out stimulus check payments from last year.

Prior to Hurricane Ida, the IRS has pushed back tax deadlines in the wake of previous natural disasters. (It’s also delayed tax deadlines because of the pandemic.)

In fact, Louisiana already had a June 15 deadline to file income taxes, following a serious winter storm in February. Texas and Oklahoma also received June 15 federal filing deadlines as a result.

More recently, the IRS said people affected by the Tennessee floods have until Jan. 3 to file their 2020 returns and California wildfire victims have until Nov. 15 to file their returns.

The Jan. 3 deadline related to Hurricane Ida also applies to other tax matters. For example, people in the disaster areas now have until then to supply quarterly estimated payments that would have been due on Sept. 15.

Most taxpayers pay their taxes through the year via paycheck withholdings, but if a person is self-employed, perhaps as a freelancer, gig worker or business owner, the estimated payments are the way they get their tax money to Uncle Sam.

The IRS says it will automatically grant the extra time. This means people do not need to contact the agency asking the relief, the IRS said.

But if a taxpayer is facing a late filing penalty or a late payment penalty that arrives during the postponement period through early January 2022, they should contact the IRS to work out an abatement on the penalty. The number to call will be on the notice, the IRS noted.

The IRS said it can help out people who live outside the disaster area and need records inside the disaster area to make a deadline or avoid a penalty. These people should contact the IRS at 1-866-562-5227.