Taxpayers affected by February winter storms may qualify for a June 15, 2021 tax return filing deadline.

Did you know that if your home or business is in a federally declared disaster area, you may get extra time to file your taxes without having to request it?

The IRS estimates that more than 16 million taxpayers will qualify for an extension this filing season, either by filing a form or making an electronic tax payment. But some taxpayers, most notably those affected by certain federally declared disasters, get more time even if they don’t ask for it.

Disaster Victims

The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in a federally declared disaster area when at least one area qualifies for FEMA’s Individual Assistance program. Ordinarily, this means that taxpayers need not contact the IRS to get disaster tax relief.

For example, victims of the February winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana have until June 15, 2021, to file their 2020 returns and pay any tax due. This relief also includes more time for making 2020 contributions to IRAs and other plans and making 2021 estimated tax payments.

In some cases, people living outside the disaster area can qualify for the automatic relief — if, for example, they have a business located in the disaster area, have tax records located in the disaster area, or are assisting in disaster relief. For details on all available relief, visit the Around the Nation page on IRS.gov. 

Other Taxpayers Who Qualify for Later Deadlines

U.S. citizens and resident aliens who live and work outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico have until June 15, 2021, to file their 2020 tax returns and pay any tax due. The special June 15 deadline also applies to members of the military on duty outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico who don’t qualify for the longer combat zone extension. Affected taxpayers should attach a statement to their return explaining which of these situations applies.

Taxpayers who qualify for the “live and work outside the U.S.” deadline get more time to pay, but interest — currently at the rate of 3% per year, compounded daily — applies to any payment received after this year’s May 17 deadline.

Military service members and eligible support personnel serving in a combat zone have at least 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file their tax returns and pay any tax due. A complete list of designated combat zone localities can be found in Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide, available on IRS.gov.

Everyone Else

Taxpayers who don’t qualify for any of these three special situations can still get more time to file by submitting a request for an automatic extension. This will extend their filing deadline until October 15, 2021. But because this is only a tax-filing extension, 2020 tax payments are still due by May 17.

To learn more about how to qualify for an extension on your 2020 federal income tax return, please contact your CRI advisor.