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State tax law 2023 changes, outlook for more

2 NY counties get winter storm disaster tax relief

Hamburg NY winter storm damage December 2022_WXChasing video screen capture
Massive waves on Lake Erie splashed homes in Hamburg, New York, during the historic blizzard that moved across the Empire State just before last Christmas. While the result was a collection of real-life ice sculptures, the storm's ultimate effects were far less lovely. (Screen capture from WXChasing YouTube video)

I admit it. I whined about the unusual cold front that moved into the Austin area Christmas week 2022. One of the reasons we moved here was for the area's generally moderate winters.

But I was properly shamed. A few freezing nights was nothing like the deadly storm that gripped parts of New York around that same time.

Now some of those New Yorkers are getting tax relief. Residents of or owners of businesses in Erie and Genesee counties now have until April 18 to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

FEMA NY December 2022 winter storm disaster area EM-3590 map

Delayed last 1040-ES payment: The extended due date, which also is this year's regular tax return filing deadline, applies to the upstate New York taxpayers who owe quarterly estimated tax payments, which are due for most of the rest of us on Jan. 17.

Business owners in the disaster areas also have until April 18 to pay to file quarterly payroll and excise tax returns that normally are due on Jan. 31.

Note that April 18, also is the due date for the first estimated tax payment of the 2023 tax year. So the storm-affected New Yorkers who also owe estimated tax this year will make two 1040-ES payments in April, as well as file their 2022 returns.

Business disaster relief: The IRS says that penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after Dec. 23, 2022, and before Jan. 9, will be abated as long as the tax deposits were made by January 9, 2023.

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 that falls within the postponement period, the taxpayer should call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS abate the penalty.

Don't call the IRS: Otherwise, there's no need for the affected taxpayers in Erie and Genesee counties to contact the IRS. The agency automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies filing and payment relief.

If, however, you live or have a business located outside the covered disaster area, but feel you also should get the same tax consideration, call the IRS toll-free disaster hotline at (866) 562-5227 to request it.

Special disaster filing relief: The New York winter storm taxpayers also have a filing year choice. As in all major disaster situations, they can choose to claim any uninsured losses as itemized deductions on their 2022 tax return due this year, or on the prior year's taxes.

If they find claiming the losses on their 2021 returns would provide a better tax result, they will have to amend that year's return by filing Form 1040-X.

If you're an affected winter storm filer and need prior year tax information to amend a return, the IRS will waive its usual fees on requests for copies of previously filed tax returns for affected taxpayers. In seeking the old data, write "New York, Severe Winter Storm" in bold letters at the top of the forms used to make the request.

That's either Form 4506 for a full return copy, an excerpt shown below…

Form 4506 tax return request
See more tax forms and more about them at 2022's Talking Tax Forms and the now-live Tax Forms 2023.

or Form 4506-T to get a return transcript, an excerpt of that form shown below.

Form 4506-T tax transcript request
See more tax forms and more about them at 2022's Talking Tax Forms (and the soon to be posted Tax Forms 2023).

Note disaster number, too: That disaster designation also should be used in making a storm-related claim on either this year's or your amended 2021 tax return. Also enter the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declaration number, which is FEMA-3590-EM. The storm notation and FEMA number will let the IRS know to give the filing expedited treatment.

You 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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