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Tax Relief for Clients Hurt By Natural Disasters


Natural disasters have unfortunately become as much a part of late summer and early fall as barbecues and back to school. While tax relief can’t replace all that’s lost, it can ease the financial burden for affected businesses and individuals.

Oct 2nd 2020
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In California, Louisiana and Texas, disaster relief for taxpayers affected by severe weather or fires may come in the form of an extension to file and pay taxes due. Read on for more details.

Tax Relief in California

Governor Gavin Newsom declared a statewide state of emergency on August 18, 2020 and additional states of emergency for Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, San Bernardino and San Diego counties on September 6, 2020. Taxpayers directly affected by these declared disasters may be eligible for tax return extensions, relief from penalties, interest, or fees for replacement copies of records lost or destroyed during a disaster.

Qualifying taxpayers in declared counties who cannot meet their filing and payment deadlines may be granted an extension of up to three months. But relief isn’t automatic, taxpayers must submit a relief request online or on paper.

Tax Relief in Louisiana

Louisiana taxpayers located in federally declared disaster areas may be eligible for an automatic extension to file and pay taxes. Louisiana Department of Revenue Secretary Kimberly Lewis Robinson explains, “Hurricane Laura brought devastation to many families and businesses across our state and taxes are the last thing on their minds. With these automatic tax extensions in place, those families and businesses can focus on the rebuilding process.”

Qualifying taxpayers have until November 30, 2020, to file returns and submit payments for sales and use tax, severance and excise tax, and withholding tax returns and payments due between August 24 and November 2, 2020. The extended due date for corporate income and franchise tax, individual income tax, fiduciary income tax, partnership tax and partnership composite tax returns and payments due between August 24 and November 2, 2020, is December 31, 2020.

Taxpayers must be in good standing to qualify for the relief. According to the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR), “If penalties or interest began accruing on the return or tax before Aug. 24, 2020, the taxpayer will not be eligible for this relief.” In September there were close to two dozen parishes declared as disaster areas in the state.

Tax Relief in Texas

Taxpayers with a business or residence in counties hit hard by Hurricane Hanna or Hurricane Laura may be eligible for tax relief. To secure it, they must apply for an extension from the Texas Comptroller. Extensions will be granted in 30-day increments and taxpayers may request up to three extensions (for a total of 90 days).Governor Greg Abbott had issued disaster proclamations for nearly 80 counties (see Disaster Declarations for Hurricane Hanna and Hurricane Laura).

Taxpayers in need of an extension must provide the following information to [email protected]:

  • Taxpayer name
  • Taxpayer number
  • Tax type(s) for the extension requested
  • Affected filing period(s)
  • Name and phone number of the individual making the request

Tax Relief in Other States

Tax officials in Colorado, Oregon, Washington and other affected states have announced no disaster-related tax relief as of this writing, though that could change at any moment. Check the following websites for the most up-to-date information:

  • Colorado Department of Revenue
  • Oregon Department of Revenue
  • Washington Department of Revenue

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