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Missouri flood victims get new Nov. 15 tax deadline

St Louis, Missouri, residents are rescued from flood waters that swamped the city after record rainfall in late July. (Photo: West County EMS and Fire)

Severe storms brought flooding rains to parts of eastern Missouri before moving into Kentucky. But Bluegrass State residents got Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Internal Revenue Service attention first, with that relief granted last week.

But now, some Show Me State storm victims also are getting federal assistance, including some easing of certain tax filing and payment deadlines.

The IRS today (Aug. 10) announced that Missouri individuals and businesses in the City of St. Louis, as well as St. Charles, Montgomery, and St. Louis counties qualify for tax relief in connection with FEMA's designation of those locales as major disaster areas.

New Nov. 15 deadline: Under the Missouri disaster tax relief, affected taxpayers now have until Nov. 15 to file and pay various taxes that were due when the storms struck on July 25.

This means individuals who had a valid extension to file their 2021 return, which gives them through Oct. 17 to do so, now have an extra month to file. However, notes the IRS, since filers who got extensions should have paid any tax owed with that Form 4868 request by April 18, any additional tax due with an extended return filed in November will be subject to late penalties and interest.

The new Nov. 15 deadline for some Missouri filers also applies to quarterly estimated tax payments that normally would be due on Sept. 15.

Missouri flooding FEMA declaration 4665

As for businesses, the Nov. 15 deadline also applies to quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Aug. 1 and Oct. 31. Businesses with an original or extended due date also have the additional time including, among others, calendar-year partnerships and S corporations whose 2021 extensions run out on Sept. 15, and calendar-year corporations whose 2021 extensions run out on Oct. 17.

In addition, the IRS says it also will abate penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after July 26 and before Aug. 10 as long as the deposits are made by Aug. 10. Yes, that's today.

These extended tax deadlines, says the IRS, also will apply to any other Missouri areas that might be added later by FEMA to the disaster declaration.

Additional affected taxpayers: Those who don't live or have a business in the Missouri disaster areas, but whose records necessary to meet a deadline are in the affected counties (for example, at your accountant's office), also are entitled to the same tax relief.

So are relief workers who are in the disaster-struck region helping out residents, as long as they are working with a recognized government or philanthropic organization.

If you aren't in the designated disaster areas, but believe you also should be granted the available tax relief, call the IRS' toll-free disaster hotline at (866) 562-5227 to discuss your situation with an agency representative.

And if you are a Missouri taxpayer in the disaster relief areas and get a late-filing or late-payment penalty notice from the IRS for a tax matter that falls within the new deadline and payment postponement period, call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS abate the penalty.

The same contact advice is true for taxpayers who hear from the IRS on a collection or examination (what we taxpayers call an audit) matter. Explain to the IRS rep how the disaster impacts you so that the agency can provide appropriate consideration to your case.

Claiming casualty losses: Finally, don't forget that if you sustain uninsured losses from a presidentially declared major disaster, you may be able to claim them on your federal tax return.

In filing such loss claims, you can choose between two tax years, either declaring the losses the year the disaster occurred or the prior year. Missouri disaster area taxpayers can claim any of this year's eligible losses on their 2022 tax returns due in 2023, or on their 2021 returns.

Affected filers who got an extension and want to claim the recent flood losses on their 2021 taxes can do so when they file that extended Form 1040 by Nov. 15. Taxpayers who have already filed 2021 taxes can file an amended return using Form 1040-X to claim the losses for that prior year.

In all major disaster cases, you need to run the numbers to make sure that your choice of tax year provides you with the most advantageous tax result. If you need copies of past tax information to help you decide which year to claim the losses, the IRS will waive the usual fees and requests for copies of previously filed tax returns for affected taxpayers. Just be sure to put the assigned disaster designation "Missouri Severe Storms and Flooding" in bold letters at the top of your Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, or Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, that you submit it to the IRS.

Affected Missouri disaster area filers also should write the disaster designation phrase in bold letters at the top of any filing related to the disaster. Also include the FEMA disaster declaration number, which is DR-4665-MO, on any return.

The IRS' Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Businesses webpage has details on other returns, payments, and tax-related actions qualifying for the additional time. You also can read more about making major disaster loss tax claims in IRS Publication 547, as well as in my earlier post on what to consider when making a major disaster tax claim.

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