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California Wildfire Relief: IRS Extended Support Till January 3 Next Year!


Those whose property has been damaged or destroyed by a wildfire can now file their personal and business tax returns and pay their taxes until Jan. 3, 2022, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.

The extensions issued in August were due to run out on Nov. 15 as part of the relief provided in August.

Additional relief is being provided by the IRS, following the decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on October 25 to end the incident period.

The IRS is required by law to provide disaster assistance for at least 60 days following the declared incident period by FEMA.

Consequently, the IRS has extended the filing period for areas of California designated by FEMA for either public or individual assistance.

At present, these counties are Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Tehama, and Trinity.

All jurisdictions included in the FEMA declaration will automatically be granted tax relief.

Localities eligible for disaster relief can always be found on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

This relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on July 14, 2021.

As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Jan. 3, 2022, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period.

This means individuals who had a valid extension to file their 2020 return that ran out on Oct. 15, 2021, will now have until Jan. 3, 2022, to file.

The IRS noted, however, that because tax payments related to these 2020 returns were due on May 17, 2021, those type of payments are not eligible for this relief.

The Jan. 3, 2022 deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Sept. 15, 2021, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns are normally due on Aug. 2 and Nov. 1, 2021.

Businesses with an original or extended due date also have the additional time including, among others, calendar-year partnerships and S corporations whose 2020 extensions ran out on Sept. 15, 2021, and calendar-year corporations whose 2020 extensions ran out on Oct. 15, 2021.

It also applies to calendar-year tax-exempt organizations whose 2020 extensions run out on Nov. 15, 2021.

In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after July 14, 2021, and before July 29, will be abated as long as the deposits were made by July 29, 2021.

The IRS disaster relief page has details on other returns, payments, and tax-related actions qualifying for the additional time.

The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area.

Therefore, taxpayers do not need to contact the agency to get this relief.

However, if an affected taxpayer receives a late filing or late payment penalty notice from the IRS that has an original or extended filing, payment, or deposit due date falling within the postponement period, the taxpayer should call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.

Affected taxpayers are also entitled to assistance from the IRS if they do not reside in the disaster area, but whose records are needed to meet deadlines in the disaster area occur at the time of the postponement.

People living outside the disaster area who qualify for relief should contact the IRS at 866-562-5227.

In addition, workers aiding in relief efforts may be affiliated with government bodies or philanthropic organizations are included.

Individuals and businesses whose losses are uninsured or unreimbursed as a result of their presence in the federally declared disaster area can choose to claim them either on their tax return for the year in which the loss occurred or on their return for the prior year (2020).

FEMA declaration number – DR-4610 – must be indicated on any return that is a loss claim. Details can be found in Publication 547.

FEMA has based this relief on local damage assessments following these wildfires and as part of a coordinated nationwide federal response. You can learn more about disaster recovery at the government official disaster assistance website.

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