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More Qualify for Earthquake-Related Tax Relief in Puerto Rico

More Qualify for Earthquake-Related Tax Relief in Puerto Rico

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced that tax relief has once again been expanded for earthquake victims in Puerto Rico. This marks the second such update for areas that can qualify for this relief.

What areas of Puerto Rico qualify for earthquake-related tax relief?

Just three days after Christmas 2019, Puerto Rico was rocked by an earthquake that ultimately led to a FEMA disaster declaration for affected parts of the US territory. While the initial declaration covered six municipalities, the January 22 and February 6 updates have ballooned that number.

According to the IRS, Puerto Ricans in Arecibo, Ciales, Hormigueros, Juana Díaz, Las Marías, Mayagüez, Morovis, Orocovis, and Sabana Grande may now qualify for tax relief. The full list includes 25 municipalities:



Cabo Rojo







Juana Díaz



Las Marías







San Germán

Sabana Grande

San Sebastián




If any additional municipalities are designated for tax relief, the IRS will issue another update.

How does disaster tax relief help victims?

Taxpayers who qualify for disaster-related tax relief often receive a number of benefits, like getting deadline extensions, claiming disaster-related casualty losses, and deducting personal property losses.

Specific to this earthquake tax relief, the IRS says that “certain deadlines falling on or after December 28,2019 and before April 30, 2020, are granted additional time to file through April 30, 2020.” Here are some of the affected deadlines noted by the IRS:

  • Individual income tax return deadlines
  • Quarterly estimated income tax payments for January and April
  • Quarterly payroll and excise tax returns for January

Generally, victims do not need to contact the IRS to receive disaster-related tax relief, but the IRS says there are exceptions. Taxpayers who were impacted by the earthquake but don’t live in officially announced areas need to call the IRS at 866-562-5227.

Sources: PR-2020-01; FEMA Statement on recent Puerto Rico Earthquakes

Ryan Norton

Whether designing superheroes, penciling caricatures, or just doodling, I always knew I was going to earn some sort of art degree while in college. That was my goal before I decided to trade Edgar Degas for Edgar Allan Poe during a Freshman English class. The BA in English soon morphed into a double-major in English and Philosophy, eventually becoming an MA in English. It only makes sense that I learned of a writing opportunity for a local marketing firm while teaching a first-year college English course. Before I knew it, I was writing and editing tax-related articles for Taxing Subjects, and this has been my home since 2014.