Hurricane Fiona Victims in Puerto Rico to Receive IRS Tax Relief

Investing News

Victims of Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico have until Feb. 15, 2023, to file their 2021 federal individual and business tax returns with a valid extension originally due to run out on Oct. 17, 2022. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reprieve postpones several other filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Sept. 17, 2022.

Tax payments related to 2021 returns that were due on April 18, 2022 are not eligible for this relief according to the IRS.

The relief applies to Hurricane Fiona victims in all 78 Puerto Rican municipalities designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This means that individuals and households that reside or have a business anywhere in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico qualify for tax relief. A list of eligible localities is available on the disaster relief page on the IRS website.

Key Takeaways

  • Hurricane Fiona victims in Puerto Rico now have until Feb. 15, 2023, to file returns originally due Oct. 17, 2022.
  • Payments originally due before Sept. 17, 2022, are not eligible for relief.
  • Tax filing and payment deadlines on or after Sept. 17, 2022, are eligible for relief.
  • The relief applies to victims in all 78 Puerto Rican municipalities designated by FEMA.
  • Additional tax relief options are available including for claiming casualty losses and obtaining copies of previous years’ IRS returns.

September 17, 2022 Marks the Start of Relief

The relief postpones filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Sept. 17, 2022. Affected individuals in all 78 municipalities in Puerto Rico will have until Feb. 15, 2023 to file returns and pay taxes that were due during the period starting on Sept. 17.

If you had a valid extension to file (not pay) until Oct. 17, 2022, you now have until Feb. 15, 2023 to file. The Feb. 15 deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Jan. 17, 2023 and quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Oct. 31, 2022 and Jan. 31, 2023.

Businesses with an original or extended due date after Sept. 17 have until Feb. 15, 2023 to file and pay. Tax-exempt organizations are also eligible for the extended deadline, including for 2021 calendar-year returns with extensions due to run out on Nov. 15, 2022.

Penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due after Sept. 17, 2022 and before Oct. 3, 2022 will be abated as long as the deposits are made by Oct. 3, 2022. Additional tax-related disaster relief details can be found on the IRS disaster relief page.

All of Puerto Rico Is Automatically Eligible

Importantly, residents of Puerto Rico do not have to apply for filing, payment, or penalty relief. It is automatically extended by the IRS to anyone with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. If you receive a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS and your due date falls on or after Sept. 17, 2022, you should call the IRS number on the notice to have your penalty abated.

In addition, if you live outside the disaster area but have records necessary to meet an IRS deadline located inside the area, the agency will work with you to make sure you are not penalized. This also applies to relief workers affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization. Affected individuals or workers should call the IRS at 866-562-5227 to obtain help.

Hurricane Fiona Casualty Losses

If you or your business suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses, you can claim them on either the return for 2022 (filed in 2023) or the return for last year (2021). Make sure you write the FEMA declaration number DR-3583-EM on any return claiming a loss.

The IRS has said it will also waive fees for obtaining copies of previously filed tax returns for taxpayers in Puerto Rico who are affected by the hurricane. If you request copies of a tax return use Form 4506 and write “Puerto Rico Hurricane Fiona” at the top before sending the form to the IRS.

The Bottom Line

If you live or work on the island of Puerto Rico in any of the 78 municipalities designated as a disaster area due to Hurricane Fiona by FEMA, you are automatically eligible for tax filing and, in some cases, payment postponement until Feb. 15, 2023. To qualify, your original or extended deadline must occur on or after Sept. 17, 2022.

Other tax reliefs including options for claiming casualty losses and obtaining previous year tax returns are available. The deadline to file returns, make payments, or request penalty waivers is February 15, 2023.

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