Disaster procedures in UltraTax CS

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If you are a CS Professional customer affected by a disaster, Thomson Reuters may be able to help. See Disaster Recovery Assistance program for information about what services we can offer.

What is a disaster relief?

The IRS typically grants tax relief to taxpayers in presidentially declared disaster areas (e.g. areas affected by hurricane, fire, flood, tornado, or other disasters natural or otherwise). Tax relief may include postponed filing deadlines, postponed deadlines for administrative requests, abatement of penalties and interest, carryback of casualty losses, and waiver of certain administrative fees. The IRS issues a News Release for each presidentially declared disaster containing specific relief provisions. To see a full list of disaster area situations from the IRS, see Tax Relief in Disaster Situations.

Is my client affected?

Refer to IRS Publication 976 to determine whether a taxpayer is affected and whether you need to indicate that on the return. Affected taxpayers who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area must call the IRS disaster hotline at 866.562.5227 to request tax relief. 


All returns (whether affected by disaster or not) must be paper filed during the annual IRS MeF shutdown period.

You may not need to make any special arrangements or requests with the taxing authority. The IRS allows any tax return (for clients affected by a disaster or not) from the current year and two prior years to be e-filed; therefore a 2021 return could be e-filed through the end of 2024. Contact the taxing authority that will be processing the return if you have questions about e-filing for clients who qualify for disaster relief.

Updates to UltraTax CS

UltraTax CS is not typically updated for disaster provisions because you can use data entry in the program to account for such provisions. See below for examples of data entry.

Mark a return as affected

Making a note on a return does not designate the taxpayer as qualifying for disaster relief. See "Is my client affected?" above for information about who qualifies.

You may not need to mark a return as affected by a disaster at all. Refer to IRS Publication 976 to determine if you need to indicate that the return is for a client affected by a disaster. Here are a few options for marking a return. 

  • Go to the General input folder and open the General Footnote field. You can type any relevant information about the disaster here. This will go with the e-file, but will not be included if you paper file.
  • Go to Help > Tax Subject Index. Choose Tax Subjects and search for Special processing. Go to that field and enter the name of the disaster there. For 1040 returns, you can only choose from the preloaded list of options. This will go with the e-file, but will not be included if you paper file.
  • For paper filing, use attached text to print a note on the front page of the return. See Attaching text to a form for instructions on using attached text.


You can stop the calculation of any penalties that the client is not required to pay. Generally, there is a checkbox to suppress penalties in the Payments folder on the Pen tab. For specific instructions on suppressing penalties, see the following topics:

Filing instructions and client letters

If the IRS changed the due date of the return, you can update the filing instructions to reflect the extension of time to file. You can also add a statement explaining the IRS tax relief being provided. You can change the filing instructions for each client or for each entity.

You can edit the letter(s) by previewing the return, going to the document you want to edit, clicking the Edit button at the top of the preview, and typing into the letter. For detailed instructions, see Editing client documents during print preview.

  1. From the Setup menu, choose the entity (for example, 1040 Individual).
  2. Click the federal or state tab.
  3. Click the Filing Instructions button. If the Filing Instructions button is grayed out, click the Letters & Emails button.

    Note: The Filing Instructions button will be grayed out if you have selected the option to Combine Transmittal Letter and Filing Instructions in letter format. This option is to the left of the buttons.

  4. Find the instructions or letter you want to edit and click the Open button.
  5. To change the due date, look for a due date variable. Variables appear between brackets in red text. You can delete the variable and type in the new due date.
  6. You can also type your own statement regarding IRS tax relief. See Customizing client documents for more information on editing client documents.
  7. When you are finished with your changes, preview your changes using Document > Preview.
  8. To save your changes, choose Document > Save.
  9. To exit, choose Document > Exit.

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