September 14, 2021

Van Hollen, Cortez Masto, Kennedy Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Help Americans Recover From Natural Disasters

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), and John Kennedy (R-La.) introduced bipartisan legislation to provide relief for impacted taxpayers in states that have issued state-level disaster declarations. Currently, the IRS has the authority to postpone filing deadlines in the event of a presidentially-declared federal disaster, but this does not extend to state-level emergencies. 

“When disaster strikes, Marylanders need immediate financial flexibility to rebuild and recover. This legislation will help ensure that – even when a federal disaster has not been declared. I’ll be working with my colleagues to pass this common-sense, bipartisan bill,” said Senator Van Hollen

“Nevadans shouldn’t be denied tax relief after experiencing wildfires just because the state doesn’t receive a federally recognized disaster declaration,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Nevadans across the state have been affected by major wildfires in the west, and my legislation would ensure that any taxpayer feeling the impact of a natural disaster can access vital tax relief so our communities are able to recover.”   

“It seems like Louisianians have been hit with all the storms nature has to offer, and we need all the help we can get to recover, and that includes extensions for filing taxes,” said Senator Kennedy. “Since Louisiana can’t always rely on Washington to get us the relief we need when we need it, this bill would make sure that Louisianians get the tax extensions necessary for rebuilding after our state declares a natural disaster. I’m thankful to partner with Sen. Cortez Masto on this effort.” 

The Filing Relief for Natural Disasters Act would allow the governor of a state or territory to extend a federal tax filing deadline in the event of a state-declared emergency or disaster, which happens automatically for federally-declared disasters. Extending this authority to states gives them the ability to provide relief independent of the federal government’s involvement in an emergency or natural disaster. Also, the legislation would expand the mandatory federal filing extension from 60 days to 120 days. This bill is supported by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).