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Verify: Do tornado victims in Georgia get extra time to file taxes?

People living inside and outside of the eight county disaster area are given an extra month to file their tax returns.

ATLANTA — Tornado victims in Georgia are looking for a break as a new round of stormy weather arrives along with tax season

11Alive viewers want to know if homeowners impacted by the tornado get a grace period for filing tax returns?

Our Sources

  • Aaron Wiley of the Internal Revenue Service
  • 11Alive financial expert Andrew Poulos

The Answer

This is true.

Yes, people living inside and some living outside of the eight counties impacted by January’s storm qualify for disaster relief that will give them an extra month to file their tax returns.

What We Found

Poulos tells us that the IRS typically provides extra time to file when the Federal Emergency Management Agency identifies federal disaster areas.

“Sometimes they’ll extend it by several months,” said Poulos. “Overall, the entire area gets an extension if it’s a federally declared disaster area.”

Wiley says that storm victims may have lost documentation needed to file their tax returns. That’s why those living in eight Georgia counties are not required to file until May 15th.

That extra month is not just for people who suffered damage but anyone living in counties declared disaster areas. Some people outside of those areas can request and might be granted extra time.

“Let’s say someone lives outside of the designated counties but they have a business in one of those counties and they need relief. They can qualify for the extended time as well,” said Wiley.

If you live somewhere else but use someone in those counties to help prepare your taxes, you might also qualify.

People who have volunteered to help storm victims may qualify too.

“Honestly, they probably will qualify if they went for a weekend and helped with recovery work and they want to call our disaster hotline and just self-identify that they did that,” said Wiley.

That hotline number is 866-562-5227.



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