Disaster area filing extensions apply to 2019, 2020 penalty relief

By Martha Waggoner

The IRS is reminding taxpayers living in some disaster-declared areas that the extended time they have to file certain returns includes filing returns to qualify for the penalty relief under Notice 2022-36 for 2019 and 2020 tax returns.

The relief, which covers deadlines to file but not to pay taxes, is available to taxpayers in areas covered by certain Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster declarations.

Under Notice 2022-36, penalties for late-filing certain tax returns, as well as penalties for not reporting certain required information on Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income, or Form 1120-S, U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation, are waived or abated if the relevant return was filed on or before Sept. 30, 2022. But individuals and households that reside or have a business in recently declared FEMA disaster areas have postponed deadlines to file the return to get this relief.

Areas with a deadline of Nov. 15, 2022, include certain counties in Missouri, where storms and flooding occurred; and in Kentucky, where storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides also occurred, the IRS said.

Other areas with the November deadline are the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where people suffered a water shortage and health issues from an "unprecedented sargassum seagrass influx," and members of the Tribal Nation of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, where severe storms occurred, the IRS said.

All these events occurred in July.

Areas with a deadline of Feb. 15, 2023, include Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina, where Hurricane Ian struck late last month, and Puerto Rico, which suffered damage from Hurricane Fiona, also in September.

Also included in the February deadline are areas in Alaska, where storms, flooding, and mudslides occurred in September, and Hinds County, Mississippi, for a water crisis beginning Aug. 30.

The relief under Notice 2022-36 applies to a broad range of tax and information returns for 2019 and 2020 tax years, including forms in the Form 1040 and 1120 series, as well as others listed in the notice.

The IRS notes that penalty relief for 2019 and 2020 returns is not available in some situations, such as where a fraudulent return was filed. For ineligible penalties, such as the failure-to-pay penalty, taxpayers may use existing penalty relief procedures, such as applying for relief under the reasonable-cause criteria or the IRS's First Time Abate program.

— To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Martha Waggoner at Martha.Waggoner@aicpa-cima.com.

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