IRS Extends Tax Deadline for Thousands Impacted by Colorado Wildfires

by Liz Holland
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Thousands of people have been affected by the Marshall Fire in Boulder, CO. The IRS is offering an extended tax filing deadline for individuals and businesses affected by the wildfire. 

A devastating wildfire ruined almost 1,000 homes in the suburbs between Boulder and Denver last week. Search parties continue to look for two missing individuals. Meanwhile, investigators are working to uncover what caused the massive fire that burned through nearly 6,000 acres. 

Individuals and businesses affected by the fire now have until May 16, 2022 to file their returns. This extension also applies for taxpayers to pay any taxes owed. This relief postpones several filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on December 30th, 2021. 

This includes several 2021 business returns that are typically due on March 15th and April 18th. It also includes individual income tax returns that are usually due on April 18th. 

Payroll, Excise Taxes, And More Included in Extension

Taxpayers affected by the fires will now have until May 16th to make 2021 contributions to their IRA. For those who own businesses, quarterly payroll tax returns also have an extension. These reports that are typically due on January 31st and May 2, are now due May 16, 2022. 

Taxes imposed on various goods, services, and activities, called excise taxes, are also now due on May 16th. Payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after December 30th, 2021 and before January 14th, 2022, will not face any penalties so long as the deposits are submitted by January 14. 

The IRS will automatically provide filing and penalty relief to anyone filing with an IRS address from the area affected by the fires. There is no need for the taxpayer to contact the IRS in order to receive relief. The relief is available to taxpayers that either live in Boulder County, or have a business there. The IRS says they will provide the same relief to any other Colorado localities that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designates. 

Victims Have Options With the IRS

Additionally, the IRS will work with taxpayers who live outside of the disaster area, but that have records necessary to meet a deadline located in the disaster area. For example, if you live in Colorado Springs but paperwork of yours that you need to meet an IRS deadline is located at your families’ house in Boulder, you may qualify for assistance. Taxpayers who live outside of the affected area but qualify for relief should contact the IRS at 866-562-5227. This includes workers that are assisting with relief efforts, if they are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization.

Individuals and businesses in a federally-declared disaster area have options when it comes to claiming their losses. Any one of these individuals or businesses that endured an uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related loss can choose to claim them on the year that the loss occurred (so in this case, 2021). Alternatively, they also have the option of claiming them on the year prior to when the loss occurred. 

The IRS is telling taxpayers to write the FEMA declaration number associated with the disaster on any return claiming a loss. The FEMA declaration number for this particular disaster is 4634DR.

The IRS has set up a disaster relief page with details on returns and payments, which you can visit here.

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