Disaster Relief Tax Credits

Disaster Relief Tax Credits

August 16, 2022

Updated January 11, 2023


What is Federal Disaster Tax Relief?

Federal disaster tax relief helps taxpayers recover financially following extreme weather, disease outbreaks like COVID-19, or other disaster events by providing tax credits or allowing more time to file returns and make tax payments. Those in federally designated disaster areas may receive their IRS refund more quickly by filing an amended return so they can claim losses related to the disaster on their previous year's tax return.

Covid Tax Relief

Small businesses negatively affected by COVID-19 have multiple avenues to seek financial relief through the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Economic Security) and American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP).

IRS Notice 2022-36 was released on August 24, 2022, providing penalty relief to most people and businesses who file certain 2019 or 2020 returns late. This relief allows the IRS to focus resources more effectively and provide relief to taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employee Retention Credit (ERC)

This credit, worth up to $10,000 per employee, is intended to keep employees affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the payroll even if they are not working during the covered period. To qualify, employers must prove that they either partially or fully suspended operations due to a COVID-19 shutdown, or that they experienced a significant decline in gross receipts. See Employee Retention Credit for more details.

Type: Refundable
Dates: Mar 13, 2020 - Jun 30, 2021
Claim Process: To claim the credit, report total qualified wages and the related health insurance costs on Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return.

This credit reimburses employers for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave for employees because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sick leave credit is worth up to $511 per day per employee for up to two weeks, and the family leave credit is worth up to $200 per day for up to twelve weeks. To qualify, businesses must have fewer than 500 employees. See IRS Covid-19 Employee Paid Leave for more details.

Type: Refundable
Dates: Apr 1, 2021 - Sep 30, 2021
Claim Process: To claim this credit, report the amount of sick and family leave wages paid to employees and other required information on Form 941, Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return.

This credit allows qualified employers who employ fewer than 500 employees to be reimbursed for the cost of providing sick and family leave to employees due to COVID-19, including employees taking time off to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccines. Employers can receive up to $511 per day for each vaccinated employee. See IRS Covid-19 Employee Paid Leave for more details.

Type: Refundable
Dates: Apr 1, 2021 - Sep 30, 2021
Claim Process: File Form 941, Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return to claim this credit.

Natural Disaster Tax Relief

If you or your business has been adversely impacted by a hurricane, severe storm, tornado, flooding or other natural disaster, you could qualify for natural disaster tax credits. Relief for these extreme weather events comes in the form of filing and payment extensions, deductions for lost or damaged property, and fee waivers.

Disaster Area Tax Relief

A qualified disaster zone or area is a geographical region impacted by major disaster that the President declares as eligible for individual and/or public assistance from the federal government.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) needs to authorize a major disaster declaration before the IRS can grant tax relief. Once FEMA has identified areas for assistance, and the President declares a federal disaster, these areas become IRS Designated Disaster Areas, and the IRS will grant filing and payment relief. See FEMA's website for a full list of these areas.

Common tax-related actions and authorizations after a major disaster include:

  • Tax filing and payment extension
    You will automatically receive extra time to file your return and make payments if your address of record is in an area that qualifies for IRS disaster tax relief.
  • Disaster loan or grant opportunities
    Business owners, homeowners or renters in a federally declared disaster area may qualify for monetary assistance from the Small Business Administration.
  • Casualty loss tax deduction qualifications
    Lost or damaged property because of a federally declared disaster may qualify as a casualty loss deduction, which you can claim on your current or prior-year tax return – and possibly lead to a larger refund.
  • Tax return transcript requirements
    To support your disaster claim, you may be required to submit a tax transcript. You can get your transcript for free instantly online or receive it by mail in 5-10 calendar days. To request it by mail, you can call 800-908-9946 or submit Form 4506-T. If you need a copy of your tax return online or by phone, you should file a Form 4506. If you need to file an amended return claiming a loss related to a disaster or to apply for disaster benefits, the IRS will waive the fees and expedite your request. Be sure to state on the form that your request is disaster related and include the type of event and state.
  • Change of address process
    You should inform the IRS of your new address if you need to relocate temporarily by submitting Form 8822, Change of Address.

Natural Disaster Map USA - 2021

Natural Disaster Map USA - 2021

Details for specific types of disasters and respective tax relief are listed below with most recent disasters sorted first.

COVID Penalty Relief in Declared Disaster Areas (Oct 2022)

Hurricane Tax Relief 2022

Hurricane Tax Relief 2021

Severe Storm & Tornado Tax Relief 2022

Severe Storm & Tornado Tax Relief 2021

Wildfire Tax Relief 2022

Wildfire Tax Relief 2021

Severe Storm & Tornado Tax Relief 2023

See IRS natural disaster tax relief for latest updates.

For help with disaster tax relief or other tax credits, please see our tax credit services.

The information contained on this page is for general guidance on matters of interest only. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting, tax, legal or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult an Armanino tax consultant.

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