IRS and DOL Issue Deadline Relief Following Iowa, Nebraska, and Alabama Disasters

The IRS has issued two news releases that announce extensions of time for taxpayers to complete certain time-sensitive tax-related acts following severe storms and flooding in Iowa and Nebraska. In addition, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance to employee benefit plans, and to those plans’ participants and beneficiaries, affected by the Iowa and Nebraska events, or by severe storms in Alabama.

The IRS news releases specifically note that these extensions apply to IRA contributions, as well as to the numerous time-sensitive acts described in Treasury Regulation 301.7508A-1(c)(1). These acts include completion of rollovers or recharacterizations, correction of certain excess contributions, making plan loan payments, filing Form 5500, and certain other acts under this regulation.

Iowa Deadline Relief
IRS news release IA-2019-02 defines the relief granted for the Iowa counties of Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona and Woodbury. Qualifying tax-related acts with deadlines falling on or after March 12, 2019, and on or before July 31, 2019, are extended to July 31, 2019.

Nebraska Deadline Relief
News release NE-2019-02 identifies the Nebraska counties of Butler, Cass, Colfax, Dodge, Douglas, Nemaha, Sarpy, Saunders and Washington as covered under this relief. Qualifying tax-related acts with deadlines falling on or after March 9, 2019, and on or before July 31, 2019, are extended to July 31, 2019.

This relief applies specifically to residents of an identified disaster area, to those whose businesses or records necessary to meet a covered deadline are located there, and to certain relief workers providing assistance following the disaster events. Any individual visiting a covered disaster area who is injured or killed as a result of the events is also entitled to deadline relief.

Affected taxpayers who reside or have a business located outside a covered disaster area are required to call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 to request relief.

DOL Relief for Iowa, Nebraska and Alabama
The DOL has issued a fact sheet (not yet available at the DOL website) for sponsors of employee benefit plans—including employer-sponsored retirement plans—and a document containing frequently-asked questions (FAQs) directed to such plans’ participants and beneficiaries. These DOL documents address the special deadline relief for these states that is available from this agency, which has oversight over ERISA-governed employee benefit plans.