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After extreme weather, IRS extends filing deadline for Texans

Relief effort workers in Texas associated with recognized government and philanthropic organizations may also be eligible.
Image: Volunteers hand out food and water at a drive-through food distribution site in San Antonio
Volunteers hand out food and water at a drive-through food distribution site in San Antonio on Feb. 19, 2021.Eric Gay / AP

The IRS announced Monday it would be extending to June 15 the tax filing deadline for Texas residents, after the state's deadly weather disaster left millions in freezing temperatures without power or clean water.

Because of Texas' significant population, 29 million, it means that nearly 1 in 10 taxpayers will get a tax extension this year.

“Following the recent disaster declaration issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS is providing this relief to the entire state of Texas,” the agency said in a release Monday.

The new deadline applies to individual and business returns, as well as making tax payments.

"Everything came to a stop last week," Brian Streig, a CPA from Austin, Texas, said in an online message. "Tax preparers weren't preparing returns and clients weren't able to send us information or answer our questions on their returns. Most of us didn't even have electricity to make working from home an option."

The grace period will be automatically applied; taxpayers won’t need to file any extra forms to request it.

Quarterly estimated tax payments will also get extensions. Individuals will also have until June 15 to make IRA contributions.

Some who live outside Texas but work within it, such as relief effort workers associated with recognized government and philanthropic organizations, may also be eligible.

Individuals in other areas that are declared disasters will also receive the same extensions, as the IRS did for Louisiana and Mississippi after Hurricane Zeta in October 2020.

The agency framed the extension as part of the overall disaster relief being provided to victims of the Texas winter storm.

“The tax relief is part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by these storms and is based on local damage assessments by FEMA,” the agency said in the release.

Streig noted that the IRS announcement came unusually quickly after the storm.

"Usually, they take a week or so to make any type of announcement like this," Streig said of the IRS. "I believe they have developed more systematic ways of determining when to give extra time and for how long. But this was a very quick announcement, and much appreciated by the tax preparer community in Texas."