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IRS and CA FTB Offer Relief for Victims of the 2020 California Wildfires

We hope you are not directly impacted by the recent and ongoing fires, but please let us know if there is anything we can do to assist you and your family as you move forward.

December 15, 2020 Deadline May Apply  The IRS has offered an additional extension of time to January 15, 2021 for taxpayers impacted by the Glass fires. 

The latest announcement was released on October 23 and can be found here

According to the announcement, "Individuals and households who reside or have a business in Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, Napa, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Siskiyou, and Sonoma counties qualify for tax relief but taxpayers in localities added later to the disaster area will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief."

"The latest declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain tax-filing and tax-payment deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after September 4, 2020, and before January 15, 2021, are granted additional time to file through January 15, 2021. This includes individual and business tax filers that had a valid extension to file their 2019 return due to run out on October 15, 2020. This relief is separate from that provided for the California wildfires that began on August 14. See the agency's August 26 announcement for details. "

NOTE : As of 10/28/2020, the FTB has NOT granted the additional extension to Jan 15th. Their latest announcement, which authorizes a 12/15/2020 filing extension is here.

On August 26, 2020, the IRS announced an additional extension of time to file certain tax returns and to make payments for those impacted by the California Wildfires. They have also provided a special filing option for any resulting casualty losses. On August 28th, California's FTB announced conformity with these provisions. The relief follows FEMA’s declaration of the area as a major disaster and is available to individuals who either have a business or reside in one of the following counties:  

  • Lake
  • Monterey
  • Napa
  • San Mateo
  • Santa Cruz
  • Solano
  • Sonoma
  • Yolo

For Federal purposes only (we are waiting to see if California will follow), certain filing and payment deadlines that fall between August 14, 2020 and December 14, 2020 will be postponed to December 15, 2020.

What’s Covered

Eligible returns include individual and business filers that had a valid extension to file their 2019 return through October 15, 2020.

The following returns and payments “that have either an original or extended due date occurring on or after August 14, 2020 and before December 15, 2020 are eligible for the following types of relief."

Tax Return Filing Extensions

  • Individual
  • Corporate
  • Estate and trust income tax returns
  • Partnership returns
  • S corporation returns
  • Trust returns
  • Estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax returns
  • Annual information returns of tax-exempt organizations
  • Employment and certain excise tax returns
  • Form 5500
  • Form 990 extensions normally 9/15 or 11/5

Payment Extensions

  • Estimated income tax payments due during the above period will not be subject to failure to pay penalties (if paid by December 15th)

Not Covered

This postponement of time to file and pay does not apply to:

  • Information returns in the W-2, 1094, 1095, 1097, 1098 or 1099 series
  • Forms 1042-S, 3921, 3922 or 8027
  • Employment and excise tax deposits

However, penalties on deposits due on or after August 14, 2020, and before August 31, 2020, will be abated as long as the tax deposits are made by August 31, 2020.

Special Treatment of Casualty Losses

As with all losses resulting from federally declared disasters, taxpayers can elect to claim the loss on their tax return for the current or prior year.  An election is required along with inclusion of the declaration number FEMA 4588 on the return filed.

Please consult your tax advisor for help addressing specific questions related to your situation or any other concerns.