Tax Extensions Available to Victims of California Wildfires

Earlier today, the IRS announced that victims of the California wildfires have been granted extensions to file certain individual and business tax returns.

Tax filing extensions

Most tax filings and payments due as of October 16, 2017 have been extended to January 31, 2018. This includes:

  • Quarterly estimated tax payments (including those due January 16, 2018)
  • Tax exempt organization returns with extensions that expire November 15, 2017
  • Quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due October 31st

The IRS is also waiving late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise taxes due from October 8 -23, so long as payments are made by October 23rd.

Taxpayers who received an extension to file their tax return until October 16, 2017 also have until January 31, 2018 to file (note that since payment was due last April, there is no tax relief available for payment).

Who qualifies?

Individuals and businesses in the California Counties of Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Sonoma and Yuba qualify for this tax relief, and the IRS may extend it to other localities. Firefighters and relief workers working with a recognized government or charitable organization, regardless of where they live, also qualify for the extension.

The tax relief should be automatic

This tax relief should be automatically applied to you if you reside in the areas listed above, and there is no need to contact the IRS. However, if for some reason you receive a late filing or late penalty notice from the IRS, you should call the number on the notice to have the penalty removed.

If you do not live in one of the areas listed above, but have tax records located there, or are a firefighter or relief worker and cannot file on time, there may be relief available.

In our next post, we will cover disaster-related casualty losses and federal disaster grants. In the meantime, here are links to IRS information and publications relating to disaster relief for individuals and businesses:

  • Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Businesses
  • Frequently Asked Questions for Disaster Victims
  • Tax Relief in Disaster Situations
  • Publication 2194, Disaster Resource Guide for Individuals and Businesses
  • Publication 584, Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook (Personal-Use Property)
  • Publication 584-B, Business Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook