Filing relief for weather victims in Illinois, Tennessee


Victims of this month’s weather in Illinois and Tennessee have until May 16 to file various federal individual and business returns and make tax payments.

Following last week’s emergency declarations issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS is providing this relief — the same as was already provided to storm victims in Kentucky — to taxpayers affected by storms, tornadoes and flooding that took place starting on Dec. 10 in parts of Illinois and Tennessee.

Currently, relief is available to affected taxpayers who live or have a business in Bond, Cass, Coles, Effingham, Fayette, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Pike and Shelby Counties in Illinois; and Cheatham, Decatur, Dickson, Dyer, Gibson, Lake, Obion, Stewart and Weakley Counties in Tennessee.

The IRS will provide the same relief to any other localities designated by FEMA in these or neighboring states. The current list of eligible localities is on the IRS disaster relief page.

Liam Kennedy/Bloomberg

The relief postpones various filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Dec. 10. Affected individuals and businesses will have until May 16 to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. This includes 2021 individual income tax returns due on April 18, as well as various 2021 business returns normally due on March 15 and April 18. Affected taxpayers will also have until May 16 to make 2021 IRA contributions.

Among other changes:

  • Farmers who choose to forgo making estimated tax payments and normally file their returns by March 1 will now have until May 16 to file their 2021 return and pay any tax due.
  • The May 16 deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Jan. 18 and April 18. Individual taxpayers can skip making the fourth quarter estimated tax payment, normally due Jan. 18, and instead include it with the 2021 return they file on or before May 16.
  • Quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Jan. 31 and May 2, 2022, are also now due on May 16. In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after Dec. 10 and before Dec. 27 will be abated if the deposits are made by Dec. 27, 2021.

The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an address of record in the disaster area. If an affected taxpayer receives a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the agency 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.
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 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 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, 2020 in this instance. They should be sure to write the FEMA declaration number — 3577EM for Illinois or 3576EM for Tennessee — on any return claiming a loss.

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