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Tax relief for taxpayers affected by California wildfires

Tax relief for taxpayers affected by wildfires

The IRS announced that taxpayers who have been affected by the California wildfires (beginning November 8, 2018) may qualify for tax relief. In general, the tax relief includes more time to file returns, pay taxes, and perform certain other time-sensitive acts for taxpayers affected by the wildfires.

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The IRS release—CA-2018-13—notes that the president has declared that a major disaster exists in the State of California. 

Following the recent major disaster declaration for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the IRS announced that affected taxpayers in certain California counties—Butte, Los Angeles, and Ventura—may qualify for tax relief. The declaration permits the IRS to delay or postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. It also includes tax-exempt organizations that operate on a calendar-year basis and had an automatic extension due to run out on November 15, 2018.

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 that falls within the postponement period, the taxpayer is directed to call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS abate the penalty. The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies automatic filing and payment relief, but taxpayers affected by the wildfires and who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area need to call the IRS disaster hotline to request tax relief.

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