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IRS extends tax-filing deadline for Colorado wildfire victims

Following the disaster declaration issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the IRS is extending the deadline to help with relief.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo — Victims of the Marshall Fire in Boulder County will have until May 16 to file various individual and business tax returns, and to make tax payments, the IRS announced Monday.

Following the disaster declaration issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the IRS is extending the deadline to help with relief.

>Video above: Officials give Monday update on Marshall Fire on Jan. 3, 2022.

Relief is available to affected taxpayers who live or have a business in Boulder County, but the IRS will provide the same relief to any other Colorado localities designated by FEMA, the IRS said.

The list of eligible localities is available on the IRS disaster relief page.

The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Dec. 30, the IRS said. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until May 16 to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. 

"This includes 2021 individual income tax returns due on April 18, as well as various 2021 business returns normally due on March 15 and April 18," the IRS said. "Among other things, this means that affected taxpayers will have until May 16 to make 2021 IRA contributions."

Additionally, farmers who choose to forgo making estimated tax payments and normally file their returns by March 1 will now have until May 16 to file their 2021 return and pay any tax due.

>Read the full IRS notice below:

Victims of this weekend's wildfires in Colorado will have until May 16, 2022, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.

Following the recent disaster declaration issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the IRS is providing this relief to taxpayers affected by wildfires that took place starting on December 30, 2021, in parts of Colorado. Currently, relief is available to affected taxpayers who live or have a business in Boulder County, but the IRS will provide the same relief to any other Colorado localities designated by FEMA. The current list of eligible localities is always available on the disaster relief page.

The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on December 30. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until May 16 to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. This includes 2021 individual income tax returns due on April 18, as well as various 2021 business returns normally due on March 15 and April 18. Among other things, this means that affected taxpayers will have until May 16 to make 2021 IRA contributions.

In addition, farmers who choose to forgo making estimated tax payments and normally file their returns by March 1 will now have until May 16, 2022 to file their 2021 return and pay any tax due.

The May 16 deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments due on January 18 and April 18. Among other things, this means that individual taxpayers can skip making the fourth quarter estimated tax payment, normally due January 18, 2022, and instead include it with the 2021 return they file, on or before May 16.

In addition, the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on January 31 and May 2, 2022, are also now due on May 16. Penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after December 30 and before January 14 will be abated as long as the deposits are made by January 14, 2022.

The Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Businesses page has details on other returns, payments and tax-related actions qualifying for the additional time.

The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. Therefore, taxpayers do not need to contact the agency to get this relief. However, if an affected taxpayer receives a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS that has an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date falling within the postponement period, the taxpayer should call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.

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. Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227. This also includes workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization.

Individuals and businesses in a federally declared disaster area who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on either the return for the year the loss occurred, or the return for the prior year. Be sure to write the FEMA declaration number – 4634DR − on any return claiming a loss. See Publication 547 for details.

The tax relief is part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by these wildfires and is based on local damage assessments by FEMA. For information on disaster recovery, visit DisasterAssistance.gov.

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