Vermont extends tax deadlines as FEMA ramps up aid payouts

By PETER D’AURIA

VtDigger

Published: 07-20-2023 5:36 PM

Vermonters affected by flooding will have more time to file and pay some state taxes, officials said Wednesday. 

The due date for state sales, rooms and meals taxes will be extended, Gov. Phil Scott said at a press conference in Berlin, adding that the state would announce “more actions to help” on Friday.

Taxes that would normally be due to the state anytime between July 7 and Nov. 15 will now be due by Nov. 15, Scott’s office said in a follow-up press release. The new deadlines are in place for the corporate and business tax, sales and use tax, meals and rooms tax, payroll withholding tax, estimated personal income tax, and personal income taxes that are being paid on an extension.

Internal Revenue Service officials announced last week that those impacted by the flood would also be granted extensions on federal tax payments: Filing deadlines for quarterly income tax payments (normally Sept. 15) and quarterly payroll and excise tax returns (normally July 31 and Oct. 31) were also moved to Nov. 15.

The new state tax extensions will be automatically implemented for those affected by flooding, the governor’s office said, although in some cases, officials may ask for “proof of hardship.”

“Taxpayers not impacted by the flood are expected to file and pay taxes by their original due dates,” the governor’s office said in the press release. 

Craig Bolio, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Taxes, said in an email that officials will “be giving people the benefit of the doubt, and reviewing cases that look suspect or abusive.”

On Wednesday, officials also provided an update on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s work in the state since the flooding. 

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FEMA federal coordinating officer William Roy said at the Berlin press conference that the agency had 331 officials currently deployed in the state. As of Tuesday, FEMA had received 991 requests for home inspections from people seeking assistance. The agency had so far inspected 177 homes, Roy said. 

FEMA officials going door to door had visited 1,980 homes and 144 businesses, Roy said. As of Tuesday, 1,644 people had signed up for FEMA aid, he said, and the agency had approved  more than $700,000 in payouts, with an average amount of $6,100 per person. 

Some people began to receive money in their accounts on Monday, Roy said, and the agency expects to pay out much more. The program has not yet been live for a week, he noted.