Kentucky Tornado Victims Get Tax-Filing Extension

Localities in neighboring states designated by FEMA will get the same relief

Victims of the tornadoes that struck Kentucky in December will have until May 16, 2022, to file their 2021 individual and business tax returns and pay their taxes according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This relief is currently available to affected taxpayers and those who have a business in Caldwell, Fulton, Graves, Hopkins, Marshall, Muhlenberg, Taylor, and Warren counties. The IRS said it would provide the same relief to any other areas designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA ) in Kentucky and neighboring states. 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." These taxpayers—which include relief workers affiliated with recognized organizations—need to call the IRS at 866-562-5227. A list of eligible areas is always available on the IRS Disaster Relief page.

Key Takeaways

  • Tornado victims in Kentucky counties designated by FEMA will receive an extended (May 16, 2022) deadline to file and pay 2021 taxes in 2022.
  • Other localities, once designated by FEMA will receive the same extension according to the IRS.
  • This disaster-related extension is automatic and does not require an application.
  • A list of all eligible areas is available on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.
  • The new May 16 filing deadline includes individual & business returns, other business forms, 2021 IRA contributions, and farmers who forgo estimated tax payments.

Breaking Down Disaster Tax Relief

The provided tax relief postpones tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Dec. 10, 2021. This gives affected individuals and businesses until May 16 to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period including:

  • 2021 individual income tax returns due on April 18
  • 2021 business returns normally due on March 15 and April 18
  • 2021 IRA contributions
  • Farmers who forgo estimated tax payments and normally file their returns by March 1

Quarterly Estimated Payments Affected

The May 16 deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments normally due on Jan. 18 and April 18. Individual taxpayers are not required to make their Jan. 18, 2022, Q4 2021 estimated tax payment. Instead, they can include it with their 2021 taxes filed on May 16, 2022.

Quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Jan. 31 and May 2, 2022, can now be filed on May 16, 2022, by entities and individuals in any area designated by FEMA as a disaster area due to the Dec. 10th and 11th tornados, storms, and flooding. Penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after Dec. 10 and before Dec. 27 will be delayed and eventually canceled if the deposits are made by Dec. 27, 2021.

The IRS disaster relief page has details about other returns, payments, and tax-related actions that qualify for an extension.

Steps You Need to Take

If your address is located in a disaster area, the IRS automatically files and provides penalty relief to you. You do not need to file for a tax extension or contact the agency to get relief. If you receive a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS you should not have received, call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.

You do not need to file for an extension for this disaster-related tax relief. The IRS will use your address to determine if you are eligible and automatically grant the extension.

For anyone who lives outside the disaster area but whose tax-related records are located within the disaster area, you should contact the IRS at 866-562-5227 to receive assistance. In addition, if you are a worker assisting relief operations and affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization, you should call the number above to work with the IRS to avoid any penalties.

Claiming Uninsured Losses

If you live in a federally declared disaster area and suffer uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses as a result of the Dec. 10th and 11th events, you can claim them on:

  • Your 2021 return filed in 2022; OR
  • Your 2020 return previously filed in 2021.

Be sure to write the FEMA declaration number—4630DR—on any return claiming a loss and consult IRS Publication 547 for additional information.

Obtaining Help From FEMA

In addition to the IRS tax filing extension for those affected by the Dec. 10th and 11th weather events, individuals and businesses can receive help from FEMA. Application can be made over the internet, by smartphone at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, by calling 1-800-621-3362, or by visiting a disaster recovery center. Disaster Survivor Assistance team members may also visit door-to-door in your area. They will have official FEMA photo identification.

FEMA can help you and members of your family that have been affected by the disaster cover necessary expenses for personal needs that cannot be met through insurance or other forms of assistance. This includes crisis counseling services and disaster-related unemployment help.

Article Sources
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  1. Internal Revenue Service. "For Kentucky tornado victims, IRS extends 2021 tax-filing deadline, other deadlines to May 16." Accessed Dec. 15, 2021.

  2. Internal Revenue Service. "Tax Relief in Disaster Situations." Accessed Dec. 15, 2021.

  3. Federal Emergency Management Agency. "Help After a Disaster." Accessed Dec. 15, 2021.

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