Understanding when IRS can offer disaster-related tax relief; special tax provisions kick in for individuals and businesses impacted by federally declared disasters

FS-2024-17, May 2024

Each year, the nation sees dozens of major disasters or emergencies happen in different parts of the country. The Internal Revenue Service makes it a priority to help taxpayers and businesses in need, and the agency works closely with other federal agencies in times of disaster.

Here are some basics on administrative tax relief offered by the IRS to help taxpayers, and businesses.

When can the IRS offer administrative tax relief?

There are different types of disaster declarations, and the IRS provides relief when an emergency measures declaration is issued supplementing governmental efforts to provide emergency services. The IRS also provides relief when a major disaster declaration offering “Individual Assistance” is issued, which allows individuals and households to apply to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for financial and direct services. These declarations are distinct from a major disaster declaration offering only “Public Assistance” to governmental and non-profit entities, which does not typically trigger IRS administrative tax relief.

After the president signs either an emergency measures declaration or a major disaster declaration offering Individual Assistance in at least one county named in the declaration, the IRS provides administrative disaster tax relief to all areas listed on the declaration. This relief grants extra time for individuals and businesses affected by a federally declared disaster to file returns, pay taxes and meet other tax deadlines.

Taxpayers eligible for tax relief

Taxpayers who may be eligible for disaster tax relief include:

  • Anyone whose principal residence is in a covered disaster area and their spouse, if filing jointly.
  • Businesses or sole proprietors whose principal place of business is in a covered disaster area.
  • Relief workers affiliated with government, non-profits or charitable organizations helping in a covered disaster area.
  • People who aren’t located in a disaster area but whose tax records are in a disaster area, and they need those records to meet certain deadlines.
  • Any individual visiting a covered disaster area who was killed or injured as a result of the disaster, or any other person determined by the IRS to be affected by a federally declared disaster.

Disaster resources

For current tax relief provisions, search Tax relief in disaster situations and visit Around the nation for IRS disaster relief news releases specific to states affected by disasters. Find resources for disaster preparation and recovery. The resources below provide valuable information for people and businesses impacted by disasters.