Skip to main content

In the aftermath of the devastating wildfires that struck Hawaii in August 2023, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has extended tax relief measures, providing much-needed assistance to individuals and businesses affected by the disaster. The deadline for various tax filing and payment obligations, initially set for February 15, 2024, has been further postponed to August 7, 2024.

This extension grants affected individuals, businesses, and tax-exempt organizations in Maui and Hawaii counties, as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), additional time to fulfill their tax responsibilities. It encompasses various deadlines, including filing 2023 tax returns, paying taxes due, and contributing to eligible taxpayers’ retirement and health savings accounts.

Small businesses, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and self-employed individuals are eligible for this relief. The deadlines for quarterly estimated income tax payments, payroll and excise tax returns, partnership and S corporation returns, and corporate and fiduciary returns have been extended to August 7, 2024.

Moreover, taxpayers with valid extensions for filing their 2022 returns will also benefit from this extension, allowing them to file until August 7, 2024. However, it’s important to note that payments for these returns are not eligible for relief as they were initially due before the wildfires occurred.

The IRS is taking proactive steps to ensure taxpayers in the disaster area receive automatic filing and penalty relief. However, those who may not have an IRS address of record in the affected area or whose records necessary for meeting deadlines are located in the disaster area are advised to contact the IRS for assistance.

In addition to tax filing extensions, individuals and businesses suffering uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on either their 2022 or 2023 tax returns, with extra time granted for this decision-making process.

Furthermore, qualified disaster relief payments are generally excluded from gross income, providing additional financial assistance to affected taxpayers.

This tax relief initiative forms part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by wildfires based on local assessments by FEMA. For those seeking guidance on tax return preparation, various resources such as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites and IRS Free File options are available, ensuring accessibility and support for individuals and businesses during these challenging times.

Source (IRS News).