IRS Gives Tax Relief to California Fire Victims 

The IRS has announced that individuals and businesses affected by the fires in California now have until January 31, 2018 to file certain tax returns and make certain payments. There are currently seven counties eligible for relief: Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Sonoma and Yuba. This list may continue to grow if the disaster continues to spread.  Individuals, businesses, as well as visiting firefighters and relief workers, qualify for the extension.

Individual and business tax filings and payment deadlines that occurred starting on October 8, 2017 have been extended, giving those affected until January 31, 2018 to file returns and pay any taxes originally due during this period.  The affected deadlines include:

Individuals

  • Additional filing extension for taxpayers with valid extensions that run out October 16, 2017
  • Postponement of the January 16, 2018 deadline for making quarterly estimated tax payments
  • Postponement of 2016 income tax returns that received a tax-filing extension until October 16, 2017
    • NOTE: Because tax payments related to these 2016 returns were originally due on April 18, 2017, those payments are not eligible for relief

Businesses

  • Extension for October 31 deadline for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns
  • Extension for calendar year tax-exempt organizations with 2016 extensions running out on November 15, 2017
  • Waiving of late deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due between October 8 and October 23 (if deposits are made by October 23, 2017). Find additional information on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

These extensions will be automatically provided to taxpayers with an IRS-recorded address located in the disaster areas. Taxpayers who mistakenly receive a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS should contact the IRS for abatement.

The IRS also noted that taxpayers who are residing outside of the disaster area but are affected by the postponement of the affected areas may also be eligible for relief. These taxpayers, which include firefighters and relief workers assisting the affected areas, should contact the IRS at 866.562.5227.

Both businesses and individuals who have experienced uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses may claim those losses on either their 2017 tax return or their return for 2016. More details can be found at Publication 547.

Additional information about who qualifies for disaster recovery can be found at disasterassistance.gov.

If you, your business, or a loved one has been affected by the fires and you want to learn more about the available tax relief, we are here to help. Contact one of our specialists at 925.271.8700 or at info@ssfllp.com.