The IRS announced on Friday that victims of the California wildfires that began on September 4th may receive tax relief from the IRS. Note this is separate relief from that provided for the August wildfires.

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 tax relief postpones filing and paying deadlines for taxpayers who reside in or have a business in the disaster area. 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 individuals and businesses who had a valid extension due to run out on October 15, 2020.

The January 15, 2021 deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments due on September 15, 2020, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on November 2, 2020, it applies to tax-exempt organizations, operating on a calendar-year basis, that had a valid extension due to run out on November 16, 2020, and penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after September 4, 2020, and before September 21, 2020, will be abated as long as the tax deposits were made by September 21, 2020.

California automatically conforms to Federal Disaster Declarations and the FTB announced its own tax relief on November 5th.

Further, a presidential disaster declaration allows a taxpayer to take a Casualty Loss on their tax return. You are able to take it on the 2020 tax return or amend 2019 to take it. See our earlier articles to get more information on taking the casualty loss deduction.