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IRS sending second clarification notice to disaster area filers

IRS notice envelope

The Internal Revenue Service incorrectly sent tax payment due notices earlier this year to taxpayers whose filing deadline hadn't yet arrived.

Now the IRS is contacting these folks again, but with less alarming news.

The first errant CP14, Balance Due $5 or More, No Math Error, went in May and June to residents of areas that had been declared major disaster areas. But because of that official federal designation, the IRS granted them a variety of tax relief, including new tax filing and payment dates.

This second IRS mailing reassures these disaster area filers in eight states that they do indeed have more time to take care of various tax tasks.

New, better IRS news: These second letters are IRS Notice CP14CL. The mailed correspondence, in both English and Spanish, will be going out over the next few weeks.

Most of the CP14CLs will go to taxpayers in California, who received the vast majority of the earlier erroneous CP14s. Smaller numbers of taxpayers in disaster areas in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee also will receive the follow-up notice.

The mailing will tell the recipients —

Since your address of record is located in a federally declared disaster area, the IRS has automatically granted you disaster relief. This gives you an extension of time to file your tax returns, as well as make your tax payment listed on the CP14 Notices. You do not need to contact us to get this extra time to pay.

The follow-up notice also includes additional information on the specific disaster relief they've received.

Actual later tax due dates: The affected taxpayers' new tax due dates should be among the added info in the latest mailings.

Most of the affected California filers have until Oct. 16 to file their 2022 tax returns, as well as take care of other personal and business tax responsibilities. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declaration and subsequent IRS tax relief came after severe winter storms in March produced flooding, landslides, and mudslides across much of the Golden State.

Residents of two other California counties where disasters were declared, Shasta and Modoc, have an Aug. 15 deadline.

Aug. 15 also is the deadline for Floridians in Broward County who endured tornadoes, severe storms, and flooding just days before this year's April 18 Tax Day.

Oct. 16 also is the due date for taxpayers in disaster areas in Alabama and Georgia disaster areas. The Yellowhammer State disaster declaration and tax relief followed severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes in January. The Georgia designation was for similar storm damages caused by the same devastating weather system that hit the Peach State's neighbor.

July 31 is the new deadline for taxpayers in disaster areas in Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The reason for the declarations in all these states were tornado-spawning storms. Details on each of those states' specific disasters can be found in these IRS state announcements: Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Automation error: The IRS noted that the earlier, incorrect CP14 mailings telling recipients they had 21 days to pay their taxes were sent automatically as a legal requirement. The system does not consider special accommodations granted disaster area taxpayers.

Since these wrong mailings had such a wide reach, the IRS, after receiving feedback from its tax community partners, decided to send the follow-up mailing to confirm that the disaster areas taxpayers have more time.

"The IRS is working hard to improve our operations as part of our new Strategic Operating Plan," IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said in announcing the second notice.

"We know our initial mailing caused confusion for taxpayers and tax professionals, and we worked quickly to send a follow-up reminder to help reassure people," added Werfel. "This mailing reflects how we're trying to be more taxpayer-focused given the additional resources that we've been given under the Inflation Reduction Act."

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