The IRS has finalized regulations relating to the mandatory 60-day postponement of certain time-sensitive tax-related deadlines by reason of a federally declared disaster. Further, the regulations clarify the definition of “federally declared disaster.” The regulations affect individuals who reside in or were killed or injured in a disaster area, businesses that have a principal place of business in a disaster area, relief workers who provide assistance in a disaster area, or any taxpayer whose tax records necessary to meet a tax deadline are located in a disaster area.

Background
Section 205 of the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019, enacted as Division Q of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 ( P.L. 116-94), amended Code Sec. 7508A relating to the discretionary authority of the Secretary of the Treasury or her delegate to postpone certain time-sensitive tax deadlines by reason of a federally declared disaster, by adding Code Sec. 7508A(d). This provision provides qualified taxpayers a mandatory 60-day period that is disregarded “in the same manner as a period specified” under Code Sec. 7508A(a).

On January 13, 2021, the IRS published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking ( NPRM REG-115057-20) to interpret and implement Code Secs. 165(i)(5) and 7508A(d). As described in the proposed regulations, Code Sec. 7508A(d) was ambiguous in at least two important respects—the time-sensitive acts to be postponed (beyond the pension-related actions described in Code Sec. 7508A(d)(4)) were not specified and it was unclear how the mandatory 60-day postponement period was to be calculated when the disaster declaration specified in Code Sec. 7508A(d) did not contain an incident date. The legislative history was also insufficient to explain these areas of ambiguity

Final Regulations
The final regulations adopt the proposed rules including providing that the definition of a federally declared disaster includes both a major disaster and emergencies declared under sections 401 or 501 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) ( P.L. 100-707). Also, one minor modification has been made to an example in the proposed rules to better illustrate the calculation of the mandatory 60-day postponement period in the event of multiple declarations and shifting “latest” incident dates.

Applicable Date
The final regulations under Code Sec. 7508A for a mandatory 60-day postponement period apply to disasters declared on or after December 21, 2019. The final regulations under Code Sec. 165 for the definition of a federally declared disaster apply June 11, 2021.