IRS provides tax relief for victims of Hurricane Laura

Victims of Hurricane Laura that began Aug. 22 now have until Dec. 31, 2020 to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

The IRS is offering this relief in any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance.  Currently this includes Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, and Vernon parishes in Louisiana, but taxpayers in localities added later to the disaster area will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief.

The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines. This means individuals who had a valid extension to file their 2019 return due to run out on Oct. 15, 2020, will now have until Dec. 31, 2020. The IRS noted however, that because tax payments related to these 2019 returns were due on July 15, 2020, those payments are not eligible for this relief.

The Dec. 31, 2020 deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Sept. 15, 2020 and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Nov. 2, 2020. Additionally, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due after Aug. 22 and before Sept. 8, will be abated as long as deposits are made by Sept. 8, 2020.