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Does the Texas Severe Winter Storm Relief Apply to Farmers and Fishermen with the March 1 Filing?

There has been some discussion in the professional community about the application of Texas' severe winter storm tax deadline relief until June 15 to the tax situation of farmers and fishermen.  

Farmers and fishermen who file their returns and pay their tax by March 1 can avoid penalties for the underpayment of estimated tax. Since this is not actually a tax filing deadline, the application of the relief to this has been the subject of that discussion. Apparently, the relief does apply but does not appear to be automatic. The instructions indicate that eligible taxpayers (and presumably their representatives) must call the IRS at 866-562-5227 to apply for the relief.

This information comes from the instructions to Form 2210-F:

Federally Declared Disaster

Certain estimated tax payment deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in a federally declared disaster area are postponed for a period during and after the disaster. During the processing of your tax return, the IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in a covered disaster area (by county or parish) and applies the appropriate penalty relief. Don’t file Form 2210-F if your underpayment was due to a federally declared disaster. If you still owe a penalty after the automatic waiver is applied, the IRS will send you a bill.

An individual or a fiduciary for an estate or trust not in a covered disaster area but whose books, records, or tax professionals' offices are in a covered area is also entitled to relief. Also eligible are relief workers affiliated with a recognized government or charitable organization assisting in the relief activities in a covered disaster area.

If you meet either of these eligibility requirements, you must call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 and identify yourself as eligible for this relief. For information about claiming relief, see IRS.gov/DisasterTaxRelief. For more information on disaster assistance and emergency relief for individuals and businesses, see IRS.gov/DisasterTaxRelief. See Pub. 976 Disaster Relief.

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