IRS Extends 2023 Tax Deadline in 3 States After FEMA Disaster Declarations

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said it is extending the tax filing deadline for millions of people living in Alabama, California, and Georgia who have been impacted by recent natural disasters.

A series of tornadoes tore through swaths of Alabama and Georgia in January and February, while much of California suffered widespread flooding due to “atmospheric river”-caused storms starting in December.

Taxpayers “in most of California and parts of Alabama and Georgia” will now have until Oct. 16, 2023, to file their taxes, the IRS said on Feb. 24. The IRS previously pushed back the deadline to May 15 before the most recent IRS update.

“The IRS is offering relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in these three states,” an IRS news release said. “There are four different eligible FEMA declarations, and the start dates and other details vary for each of these disasters.” The IRS advises residents to check the current list of eligible localities on its website.

“The declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain tax-filing and tax-payment deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after December 27, 2022, and before October 16, 2023, are granted additional time to file through October 16, 2023,” the IRS release added.

Taxpayers in those areas also can make their 2022 contributions to their IRAs and health savings accounts until Oct. 16, according to the agency.

The IRS also said that taxpayers who live outside the counties but were still impacted by the storms could be covered. They will have to contact the IRS to determine whether they’re eligible.

The IRS’s latest announcement, however, doesn’t apply to state taxes—only federal taxes.

Residents of Georgia and Alabama will still have to file their state taxes by April 18, 2023, unless the state gives an extension. The California Franchise Tax Board granted people impacted by the winter storms and flooding an extension until May 15, 2023.

For everyone else, April 18 is the deadline to file taxes, the IRS announced earlier this year.

Other IRS Statements

Earlier this month, the IRS  announced that most relief checks issued by about two-dozen states aren’t subject to federal taxes, providing 11th-hour guidance as tax returns start to pour in.

Less than a week after telling payment recipients to delay filing returns, the IRS said it won’t challenge the taxability of payments related to general welfare and disaster.

This means taxpayers who received those checks will not need to report these payments on their 2022 tax returns—meaning they won’t have to pay federal taxes on those payments. This comes just three days after the IRS recommended that taxpayers in Georgia hold off on filing their tax returns for 2022 if they received a special tax refund or payment from the state last year.

The reason for that is they were deciding if those $250 and $500 state tax-rebate checks from last year should be declared as income—income that the feds were deciding whether they wanted to tax.

“The IRS appreciates the patience of taxpayers, tax professionals, software companies and state tax administrators as the IRS and Treasury worked to resolve this unique and complex situation,” the IRS said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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