Snohomish Co. Delegation Statement on IRS Tax Extension for Families Affected by Landslide

Apr 4, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the federal delegation representing Snohomish County released the following statement after the the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) extended the tax deadline until Oct. 15 for families who have been affected by the State Route 530 mudslide.

“The IRS’s quick response to grant tax relief for the families affected by the State Route 530 mudslide will provide a small, but significant comfort to those whose lives have been forever changed by this tragedy,” the delegation said. “This decision will give affected residents of Oso, Darrington and Arlington a much needed 6-month extension on their taxes, as they continue the process of recovery and rebuilding.”

The Internal Revenue Service announced the extension Friday after a letter was sent the day before to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Patty Murray (D-WA), and U.S. Representatives Suzan DelBene (WA-01) and Rick Larsen (WA-02), urging the IRS to extend the tax filing deadline for affected individuals in Darrington, Oso and Arlington. The deadline for Americans to file their taxes is April 15.

President Barack Obama declared the State Route 530 mudslide to be a major disaster on Wednesday.

The tax relief announced Friday postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines for affected individuals and business until Oct. 15.

In previous cases, the IRS has provided affected taxpayers in federally declared disaster areas with extensions on tax filing deadlines and flexibility in claiming disaster losses.  The IRS announced relief on 2013 tax filings for victims of storms and flooding in Colorado and Illinois. Further information on disaster tax relief is available at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Relief-in-Disaster-Situations.

A copy of the IRS announcement is below:

The Internal Revenue Service announced today that victims of last month’s mudslides and flooding in Washington State will have until Oct. 15 to file their returns and pay any taxes due.

Following this week’s disaster declaration for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS said that affected taxpayers in Snohomish County, including the Sauk-Suiattle, Stillaguamish and Tulalip tribes, will receive this and other special tax relief.

The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on March 22, 2014. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Oct. 15, 2014 to file these returns and pay any taxes due.

This includes the regular April 15 deadline for filing 2013 individual income tax returns and making tax payments. It also includes the April 15 deadline for making 2013 contributions to an individual retirement account.

Also included is the April 15, June 16 and Sept. 15 deadlines for making quarterly estimated tax payments. A variety of business tax deadlines are also affected including the April 30 and July 31 deadlines for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns.

The IRS will abate any interest, late-payment or late-filing penalty that would otherwise apply. The agency automatically provides this relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. Taxpayers need not contact the IRS to get this relief.

Beyond the relief provided to taxpayers in the FEMA-designated localities, 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. All workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization also qualify for relief.  Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227.

Individuals and businesses who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on either last year’s or this year’s return. Claiming these casualty loss deductions on either an original or amended 2013 return will get the taxpayer an earlier refund but waiting to claim them on a 2014 return could result in greater tax savings depending upon other income factors.

In addition, the IRS is waiving late deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due on or after March 22 and before April 7 if the deposits are made by April 7, 2014. Details on available relief can be found on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

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

The IRS is actively monitoring the situation and will provide additional relief if needed.