As a result of the FEMA’s state of disaster declaration, certain Mississippi Storm victims will now benefit from the extension of the 2015 tax return filing and tax payment deadlines. In particular, the residents of Benton, Coahoma, Marshall, Quitman and Tippah counties (as well as other counties that may be added at a later time) will have until May 16, 2016 to file their 2015 tax returns and pay any tax due. All workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization also qualify for relief.
The extended deadline also affects the estimated tax payments; the IRS will waive all penalties associated with these deadlines for Mississippi Storm victims. Individual Mississippi Storm victims will now be able to benefit from this extended deadline with respect to January 15 and April 18 deadlines for making quarterly estimated tax payments.
Business Mississippi Storm victims will also benefit from this deadline extension, including February 1 and May 2 deadlines for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns. Furthermore, the deadline extension applies also to March 1 deadlines for farmers and fisherman who are Mississippi storm victims and choose to forego making estimated tax payments.
Additionally, the IRS will waive late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due on or after December 23 and before January 7 if the deposits are made by January 7, 2016. Details on available relief can be found on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.
The IRS will automatically provide filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the Mississippi disaster area. Thus, Mississippi storm victims need not contact the IRS 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.
Furthermore, 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 Mississippi disaster area. Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227.
Finally, individuals and businesses 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. See Publication 547 for details.