Oklahoma Tax Commission, IRS grant relief due to severe winter storms

Snow plow on a city street during winter storm

The Oklahoma Tax Commission has granted relief to taxpayers affected by the severe winter storms that began on February 8, 2021. In granting relief, the Commission took into consideration the relief announced by the Internal Revenue Service on February 25, 2021 (IRS Notice OK-2021-01). Following the disaster declaration for all 77 counties in Oklahoma by the Federal Emergency Management Agency due to the severe winter storms, the IRS postponed federal tax deadlines falling on or after February 8, 2021 and before June 15, 2021 to June 15, 2021 for affected taxpayers. “Affected taxpayers” include individuals who live in Oklahoma, businesses whose principal place of business is located in Oklahoma, and taxpayers whose records necessary to meet a deadline are located in Oklahoma.

Affected taxpayers have until June 15, 2021 to file most returns that have an original or extended due date occurring on or after February 8, 2021 and before June 15, 2021, including:

  • individual, corporate, and estate and trust income tax returns (including 2020 individual and business returns normally due on April 15 as well as first quarter estimated tax payments due on April 15);
  • partnership returns, S corporation returns, and trust returns;
  • estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax returns;
  • annual information returns of tax-exempt organizations; and
  • employment and certain excise tax returns.

In addition, penalties on deposits due on or after February 8, 2021 and before February 23, 2021 will be abated as long as the tax deposits were made by February 23, 2021.Taxpayers also have until June 15 to make 2020 IRA contributions.

In its regularly scheduled meeting on March 2, 2021, the Oklahoma Tax Commission issued Order 2020-03-02-04 providing similar relief to individuals and business impacted by the winter storms. The Commission issued an amended order after its March 9, 2021 meeting, which provides:

  • Any taxpayer with a payment due by March 15, 2021 and/or April 15, 2021 for 2020 Oklahoma income taxes and/or any estimated 2021 income tax payment due by March 15, 2021 and/or April 15, 2021 is granted a waiver of any penalties and/or interest for payments not received by June 15, 2021,
  • Any taxpayer with an Oklahoma franchise tax return obligation will not be assessed any penalties for late filings if filing is made by August 1, 2021, and any penalties and/or interest shall be waived for any payments not received by September 15, 2021. The order specifically provides corporations may still elect to file their franchise tax return with their corporate return,
  • The order does not extend deadlines for filing and/or remitting withholding taxes, sales and use taxes, mixed beverage taxes, motor vehicle taxes, gross production taxes or any other taxes administered by the Oklahoma Tax Commission,
  • The order does not apply to extend any deadlines applied by the Oklahoma Tax Code for elections or other provisions.

Any penalty and/or interest accruing as a result of taxpayers taking advantage of the relief granted under the Commission Order is waived, provided the taxpayer has voluntarily filed all returns and paid any and all taxes due. Waivers of penalty and interest in excess of $25,000 will require approval of Oklahoma County District Court as currently provided by statute.