IRS Announces Tax Relief for Pennsylvania

Parts of Pennsylvania have been added to the list of locations eligible for tax relief measures in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

The Internal Revenue Service has now extended various tax deadlines until Jan. 3, 2022, for six counties in Pennsylvania, joining specified counties in Louisiana, New York and New Jersey previously announced as eligible for IRS relief measures.

“During this difficult time, the IRS stands ready to help victims of Hurricane Ida,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “We want people affected by this devastating hurricane focused on their safety and recovery for themselves and their families. To provide assistance now and in the weeks ahead, we have a variety of different types of relief available to help people and businesses affected by this disaster.”

Tax relief is available to taxpayers in any county included in a federally-designated disaster area. In Pennsylvania, this currently includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York counties, although other counties and locations could be added later.

Affected counties are designated as qualifying for individual or public assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). To see a current list of eligible counties and locations, visit the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

The tax relief extends some deadlines

By granting the tax relief, taxpayers—individuals and businesses—in the disaster areas have the deadlines pushed back to Jan. 3, 2022 to file and pay any tax due. Those with extensions that would have called for a filing deadline of Oct. 15, 2021, now have until January 3 to file.

However, if any tax is due on returns with an extension, there’s no extension for payment.

Payment of tax isn’t included in the new January 3 deadline, since those payments were due on May 17—before the hurricane struck.

The January deadline also takes in quarterly estimated income tax payments that would normally be due September 15, and quarterly payroll and excise tax returns otherwise due on November 1.

Tax-exempt organizations, businesses, partnerships and S corporations all have various deadlines extended through the relief measures.

The IRS’ disaster relief page on the agency’s website has all the details on returns, payments and other tax-related actions that qualify for the extended deadline.

The tax relief is automatic

As with the previously announced relief measures in Louisiana, New York and New Jersey, no action is needed on the part of affected Pennsylvania taxpayers to qualify for the additional time.

The IRS uses taxpayers’ address of record when a return is filed to automatically check if it is in an area qualified for relief. There’s no need to contact the IRS to sign up or to check eligibility.

Taxpayers in the designated disaster areas who get a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS that has a due date that falls between Aug. 31, 2021, and Jan. 3, 2022, can call the number in their notice to have the penalty abated.

Taxpayers within the disaster area have an option on how to claim their uninsured or unreimbursed losses from the hurricane. They can either choose to claim the loss on the return for the year the loss occurred—in this case, their 2021 return to be filed next year—or they can claim losses on the return for the previous year.

No matter which option taxpayers choose to report their losses, they must write their FEMA declaration number on the return. For Pennsylvania, the number is DR-4618.

See Publication 547 for more information on reporting storm or casualty losses. For a wider scope of information on the overall coordinated federal response to Hurricane Ida, check out DisasterAssistance.gov.

Source: IR-2021-183

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