Fiona victims in Puerto Rico qualify for tax relief

Accounting

Hurricane Fiona victims in all 78 Puerto Rican municipalities now have until February to file various federal individual and business returns and make tax payments.

The IRS is offering relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, meaning that individuals and households that reside or have a business anywhere in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico qualify for relief. (The current list of eligible localities is on the disaster relief page of IRS.gov.

The tax relief postpones various filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Sept. 17. Affected individuals and businesses will have until Feb. 15, 2023, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period.

Individuals who had a valid extension to file their 2021 return due to run out on Oct. 17 will now have until Feb. 15 to file but, because tax payments related to these 2021 returns were due on April 18, 2022, those payments are not eligible for this relief. 

The Feb. 15 deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Jan. 17, 2023, and quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Oct. 31, 2022, and Jan. 31, 2023. Businesses with an original or extended due date also have the additional time including, among others, calendar-year corporations whose 2021 extensions run out on Oct. 17.

Aftermath of Fiona in Capesterre-Belle-Eau, the French island of Guadeloupe, on Sept. 17. Photographer: Lara Balais/AFP/Getty Images
The aftermath of Hurricane Fiona

Lara Balais/Photographer: Lara Balais/AFP/Ge

Similarly, tax-exempt organizations also have the additional time, including for 2021 calendar-year returns with extensions due to run out on Nov. 15, 2022.

Penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due this year after Sept. 17 and before Oct. 3 will be abated as long as the deposits are made by Oct. 3.

The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an address of record located in the disaster area; taxpayers do not need to contact the agency. If an affected taxpayer receives a late-filing or late-payment penalty notice from the agency who 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.

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 in the affected area. Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area need to call (866) 562-5227. This 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. Write the FEMA declaration number (DR-3583-EM) on any return claiming a loss.

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