IRS Announces Tax Relief to Texans due to Severe Winter Weather

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Matthew L. Roberts

Matthew L. Roberts



Mr. Roberts is a Principal of the firm. He devotes a substantial portion of his legal practice to helping his clients successfully navigate and resolve their federal tax disputes, either administratively, or, if necessary, through litigation. As a trusted advisor he has provided legal advice and counsel to hundreds of clients, including individuals and entrepreneurs, non-profits, trusts and estates, partnerships, and corporations.

Having served nearly three years as an attorney-advisor to the Chief Judge of the United States Tax Court in Washington, D.C., Mr. Roberts leverages his unique insight into government processes to offer his clients creative, innovative, and cost-effective solutions to their tax problems. In private practice, he has successfully represented clients in all phases of a federal tax dispute, including IRS audits, appeals, litigation, and collection matters. He also has significant experience representing clients in employment tax audits, voluntary disclosures, FBAR penalties and litigation, trust fund penalties, penalty abatement and waiver requests, and criminal tax matters.

Often times, Mr. Roberts has been engaged to utilize his extensive knowledge of tax controversy matters to assist clients in their transactional matters. For example, he has provided tax advice to businesses on complex tax matters related to domestic and international transactions, formations, acquisitions, dispositions, mergers, spin-offs, liquidations, and partnership divisions.

In addition to federal tax disputes, Mr. Roberts has represented clients in matters relating to white-collar crimes, estate and probate disputes, fiduciary disputes, complex contractual and settlement disputes, business disparagement and defamation claims, and other complex civil litigation matters.

One of the most devastating major winter storms in the history of the State of Texas has finally passed.  Recognizing the significant emotional and financial toll the storm has taken on Texans, the IRS recently released an announcement indicating that residents and businesses in all 254 Texas counties may qualify for tax relief.  See TX-2021-02 (Feb. 22, 2021).  This Insight summarizes some of the more noteworthy relief provisions.

Postponement of Certain Tax Deadlines

Both the Internal Revenue Code and the governing regulations provide authority for the IRS to provide relief to those affected by a federally declared disaster.  Exercising this authority, the IRS has declared that certain taxpayers “that reside or have a business in all 254 Texas counties qualify for tax relief.”  These taxpayers include:

If the taxpayer fits within one of the specific categories above, the taxpayer has until June 15, 2021, to file most tax returns (including individual, corporate, and estate and trust income tax returns; partnership returns, S corporation returns, and trust returns; estate, gift, and GST tax returns; annual information returns of tax-exempt organizations; and employment and certain excise tax returns), that have either an original or extended due date occurring on or after February 11, 2021 and before June 15, 2021.

In addition, these affected taxpayers are given an extension of time to make estimated income tax payments originally due on or after February 11, 2021, and before June 15, 2021—these payments are now due through June 15, 2021.  Significantly, the IRS will not impose penalties for failure-to-pay estimated tax payments during this time, provided the payments are made on or before June 15, 2021.

Other Time-Sensitive Taxpayer Actions Extended 

The announcement also indicates that the IRS will give affected taxpayers until June 15, 2021, to perform other time-sensitive actions described in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(c)(1) that are due to be performed on or after February 11, 2021 and before June 15, 2021.  These are similarly extended until June 15, 2021, and include:

Casualty Losses.

Qualifying taxpayers above also have the option to claim disaster-related casualty losses on their federal income tax returns for either the year in which the event occurred, or the prior year (i.e. to accelerate the losses).  For those taxpayers claiming a disaster loss on a 2020 return, they should put the Disaster Designation, “Texas—Severe Winter Storms,” in bold letters at the top of the form.  In addition, the disaster declaration number, FEMA 4586, should be included on the return.

IRS Collection or Examination Matters.

The IRS advises affected taxpayers who are contacted by the IRS in a collection or examination matter to explain how the disaster impacts them so that the IRS can provide appropriate consideration to their case.

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