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Tax Relief for Washington State Wildfire Victims


In a recent announcement, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has extended tax relief to individuals and businesses in parts of Washington state affected by wildfires that began on August 18, 2023. The relief measures provide taxpayers with an extended deadline until June 17, 2024, to file various federal individual and business tax returns and make necessary payments.


Eligibility Criteria


The IRS is extending relief to areas designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), with Spokane County currently included. Individuals and businesses in this locality qualify for tax relief. The same relief will be offered to any additional Washington state localities added later to the disaster area, with an updated list available on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.


Filing and Payment Relief


The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred between August 18, 2023, and June 17, 2024. This extension includes a range of obligations such as individual income tax returns, contributions to IRAs and health savings accounts, quarterly estimated income tax payments, payroll and excise tax returns, and more.


Penalty Abatements


Penalties for failing to make payroll and excise tax deposits during the specified period will be abated if the deposits were made by September 5, 2023. The IRS disaster relief page provides details on other returns, payments, and tax-related actions qualifying for relief during the postponement period.

How to Obtain Relief


The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. For those without an IRS address in the affected area, unique circumstances may arise, and affected taxpayers should call the number on the penalty notice to have it abated. Taxpayers living outside the disaster area but with records in the affected area should contact the IRS at 866-562-5227.


Extensions Reminder


Taxpayers needing additional filing extensions beyond June 17, 2024, for their 2023 federal income tax return are urged to request it electronically by April 15, 2024. Extensions requested between April 15 and June 17, 2024, can only be submitted on paper. However, whether requested electronically or on paper, the taxpayer will have until October 15, 2024, to file, with payments due on June 17, 2024.


Additional Tax Relief


Individuals and businesses in a federally declared disaster area who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can claim them on either the return for the year the loss occurred or the prior year. Qualified disaster relief payments are generally excluded from gross income, allowing affected taxpayers to exclude amounts received from a government agency for various expenses. The IRS may provide additional disaster relief in the future.


This tax relief initiative is part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by wildfires in Washington state, based on local damage assessments by FEMA. For further information on disaster recovery, taxpayers are encouraged to visit DisasterAssistance.gov. The IRS continues to monitor the situation and may provide additional relief as needed.



 

Disclaimer: This article is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal tax advice. Advanced Tax Solutions is not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information. It is your responsibility to refer to official IRS documentation for information regarding any tax laws or tax information shown here.

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