IRS Extends the May 17 Tax Deadline for Victims of the Tennessee Storms

Earlier this year, a series of tornados moved across Middle Tennessee. A state of emergency was declared statewide. The IRS is providing relief to residents of Tennessee and the surrounding areas by extending tax lines to August 2, 2021 for individuals and businesses.

The extension will be granted to victims of the tornado activity that occurred between March 25 and April 3. Relief is available to taxpayers who live or have a business in the following counties:

  • Campbell
  • Cannon
  • Cheatham
  • Claiborne
  • Clay
  • Davidson
  • Decatur
  • Fentress
  • Grainger
  • Hardeman
  • Henderson
  • Hickman
  • Jackson
  • Madison
  • Maury
  • McNairy
  • Moore
  • Overton
  • Scott
  • Smith
  • Wayne
  • Williamson
  • Wilson 

A full list of eligible counties is also available on the IRS’s disaster relief page.

The tax relief applies to various tax and payment deadlines that fell on March 25, 2021 or later. These include individual tax returns that were due on May 17 and business tax returns due April 15. These deadlines are now moved to August 2. Taxpayers will also have until August 2 to make 2020 IRA contributions. 

The extended deadline also applies to estimated tax payments due on April 15 and June 15 as well as quarterly payroll and excise tax returns that are normally due on April 30. It also applies to tax exempt organizations that operate on a calendar year basis and would otherwise be looking at a May 17 due date. 

Penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due between March 25 and April 9 will also be waived as long as a payment is made by April 9. See the disaster relief page to find out other payment and tax deadlines that have been extended.

Taxpayers do not need to contact the IRS to qualify for relief. It will automatically be granted to taxpayers in the area. If a taxpayer receives a late filing or late penalty notice from the IRS for a payment that was due within the postponement period, they should contact the agency.

Individuals who live outside the affected area may also qualify for relief. These include workers who assisted victims during the disaster and are affiliated with a philanthropic or government agency. Those who qualify may work out extensions by calling 866-562-5227. 

Businesses and individuals who live within the federally declared disaster area and suffered uninsured and unreimbursed losses may claim them for the 2021 or 2020 tax year. If they choose to claim the losses on their 2020 taxes, they must write the FEMA declaration number, 4601DR, on the return. 

There are taxpayers outside of Tennessee who are also eligible for tax extensions due to being affected by the disaster. These include the following:

  • Individuals and businesses in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana will have until June 15 to file and pay
  • Individuals and businesses in parts of Kentucky will have until June 30 to file and pay.
  • Individuals and businesses in parts of Alabama will have until Aug. 2 to file and pay.

Disaster victims outside of these areas who need an extension can qualify by doing any of the following: 

  • Request an automatic extension through the IRS web site. This will allow you to file as late as October 15. 2021 but payments will still be due by May 17.
  • Use Free File on request an extension using Form 4868. Taxpayers must estimate tax liability when using this form.
  • Select form 4868 and make a full or partial payment with Direct Pay, a debit or credit card or the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). Registration is required for using the EFTPS.


All requests must be made by May 17. If you are a disaster victim who has not filed by that deadline and need more time, you must request an extension on paper using form 4868.