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house Bill H.R. 1095

Should Taxpayers Affected by Natural Disasters Receive an Automatic 60-Day Extension For Their Tax Returns?

Argument in favor

It’s difficult for those affected by natural disasters to file taxes in a timely manner, as important documentation may get lost or destroyed during these events. Automatically extending these people’s tax filing deadlines will help reduce some of the strain associated with recovering from natural disasters.

Argument opposed

The IRS already has a helpline and trained specialists to help people affected by natural disasters access assistance for filing their taxes and offers extensions of up to six months if needed. There’s no need for an automatic, blanket extension if the IRS already helps those affected by natural disasters get extensions.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedFebruary 7th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1095?

This bill — the Disaster Certainty Act of 2019 — would create an automatic 60-day tax deadline extension immediately following a Presidential Disaster Declaration, allowing taxpayers in the affected area to file their tax return later.

Impact

Taxpayers; residents of disaster areas; people affected by natural disasters; and the IRS.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1095

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Tom Rice (R-SC) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress as part of the 2018 Natural Disasters Tax Relief Act, which seeks to give people rebuilding from natural disasters relief from some of the financial difficulties they’re facing:

“From Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas to the wildfires in California, natural disasters devastated communities across the country in 2018 and many people are still facing a long, costly recovery process. The 2018 Natural Disasters Tax Relief act will provide certainty and help alleviate some of the financial difficulties faced by those recovering from these disasters. This legislation creates an automatic 60-day tax deadline extension immediately following a Presidential Disaster Declaration. If a natural disaster coincides with a tax filing deadline, people will be able to prioritize their safety rather than worry about filing a tax return. As many of my constituents know too well, families are faced with unexpected costs after a natural disaster, but most do not have these funds at their immediate disposal. This legislation includes a number of targeted provisions that will ease this financial burden through targeted tax relief. I urge my colleagues to act quickly to pass this common-sense legislation that will provide a sense of stability and reassurance to those who are recovering from Hurricane Florence and other natural disasters across the nation.”

There are no cosponsors of this bill in the 116th Congress. Last Congress, this bill passed the full House as part of the Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018 and the Tax Payer First Act of 2018 put together by then-House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), but that bill package didn’t pass the Senate due to most key Democratic leaders’ opposition to the proposed tax changes in the package.


Of NoteCurrently, in the case of a federally declared disaster, taxpayers can call the IRS at 866-562-5227 to speak with an IRS specialist trained to handle disaster-related issues. The IRS is able to provide tax relief to victims of federally declared disasters by offering extended deadlines to file their returns and submit their payments.

Taxpayers who need copies of their prior-year tax return have several options for retrieving them, including going to their paid preparer for a copy from them; using the same tax preparation software that they used the previous year, as the software will likely have a copy of that return; returning to their prior-year software for an electronic copy of their return even if they’re not using the same tax preparation software; and retrieving their prior-year return from the IRS via the Get Transcript application on IRS.gov, which allows both electronic and hard copy receipt by mail.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / NoDerog)

AKA

Disaster Certainty Act of 2019

Official Title

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to automatically postpone certain deadlines in the case of taxpayers located in a disaster area.

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