TaxWatch: IRS pushes back tax-filing deadline for Texans recovering from winter storm

Texans have extra time to file their taxes this year, the Internal Revenue Service said Monday, attempting to give Lone Star-state residents more time to pick up the pieces of their financial lives after last week’s devastating winter storm.

All Texas residents now have a June 15 deadline to file their 2020 income taxes and pay any federal taxes owed, the IRS said. This deadline extension also applies to taxpayers who have a business in the disaster area, the IRS said, noting this also pushes back the March 15 business-tax-return filing deadline.

The rest of the country has the April 15 deadline, even though some lawmakers want to change that.

There may be scenarios where someone will qualify for the same deadline extension even if they don’t live in Texas, IRS spokesman Eric Smith explained.

For example, if a business is located in Texas but the business owner is elsewhere, they can qualify, he said. Another example would be if someone elsewhere needs important tax records that are located in Texas, but those records are being held up because of disaster recovery.

The IRS says it will work with taxpayers outside the disaster area but who might need some form of filing relief. These people should call the IRS at 1-866-562-5227.
For people in the disaster area, the IRS said it will automatically arrange the filing and penalty relief.

The breathing room is welcome news for Texas residents, but it’s not a new type of accommodation. For example, the IRS has previously pushed back deadlines for people affected by hurricanes.

Last year, the IRS pushed the filing deadline back to July 15 for everyone because of the pandemic.

The IRS should extend the filing deadline this year too, a group of Democratic lawmakers said last week.

Though demand for free tax preparation is high, many sites are physically closed due to the pandemic. That puts low-income taxpayers with little English proficiency and taxpayers with less digital access at a special disadvantage, they say.

Texas taxpayers and everyone else can seek extensions to submit their returns by Oct. 15.