On September 17, 2020, the IRS postponed various tax filing and payment deadlines for victims of the Oregon wildfires. 

Who Is Eligible?

  • Individuals in any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as qualifying for individual assistance. As of this writing, that includes:
    • Clackamas County
    • Douglas County
    • Jackson County
    • Klamath County
    • Lane County
    • Lincoln County
    • Linn County
    • Marion County
    • Taxpayers in localities later added to the disaster area. The current list can be found here.
  • The IRS will work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area, but whose records necessarily meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period located in the affected area. Such taxpayers will need to contact 866-562-5227.

What Is the Relief?

  • Individuals and businesses will have until January 15, 2021, to file returns and pay any taxes that were due between Sept. 7, 2020, and Jan. 15, 2021.
    • The IRS noted that individuals who had a valid extension to file their 2019 return (which was originally set to run out on Oct. 15, 2020) will now have until Jan. 15, 2021 to file their 2019 return.
    • However, tax payments related to those 2019 returns are not eligible for relief, as those returns were due on July 15, 2020
  • The Jan. 15, 2021 deadline also applies to: 
    • Third quarter estimated tax payments due Sept. 15, 2020
    • Quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Nov. 2, 2020
    • Tax-exempt organizations, operating on a calendar-year basis, that had a valid extension due to run out on Nov. 16, 2020
  • Penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after Sept. 7, 2020, and before Sept. 22, 2020, will be abated as long as the deposits are made by Sept. 22, 2020.
  • The IRS will waive the usual fees and requests for copies of previously filed tax returns for affected taxpayers. Taxpayers will need to write the Disaster Designation, “Oregon – Wildfire and Straight-line Winds,” on the Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, or Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, as appropriate and submit it to the IRS.
  • Individuals and business are also given until Jan. 15, 2021 to perform other time-sensitive actions described in 301.7508A-1(c)(1), Proced. & Admin. Regs., and Rev. Proc. 2018-58, that are due to be performed on or after Sept. 7, 2020, and before Jan. 15, 2021. This includes extensions of exchange deadlines for section 1031 purposes.

Other Information

Individuals and businesses in a federally declared disaster area who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim the losses on their 2020 return or their 2019 return. Taxpayers will need to write the FEMA declaration number, FEMA 4562, on any return claiming a loss and the Disaster Designation, “Oregon – Wildfires and Straight-line Winds,” in bold letters at the top of the form.

We will continue to look for additional guidance related to the Oregon wildfires, including any announcement on this topic from the Oregon Department of Revenue. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments about this recent announcement, please do not hesitate to contact Dan Eller or Alee Soleimanpour.

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