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Tax Relief Extended: How the IRS is Supporting Californians Post Natural Disasters

Last updated 03/26/2024 by

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In a compassionate move, the IRS extended tax deadlines for most Californians to November 16, 2023, following the severe natural calamities last winter. This piece outlines the details of this relief, who qualifies, and what taxpayers need to do to benefit, offering a glimpse of additional relief provisions to ease financial strains during trying times.
In light of the severe natural disasters that swept through California last winter, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has once again pushed the tax deadlines, now to November 16, 2023. This move comes as a breather for individuals and businesses scrambling to get their finances in order amidst the aftermath of the calamities. Initially postponed to October 16, the extension now covers a vast majority of California, barring only Lassen, Modoc, and Shasta counties.

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Understanding the IRS relief

The IRS’s decision is an empathetic response to the harsh realities faced by Californians due to severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides over several months. The federal relief is a part of a broader initiative to provide financial ease to those affected, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designating the disaster areas. If your recorded address falls within these areas, you’re automatically eligible for the extended deadline without having to make a formal request.

Eligibility for the extended deadline

The extension encompasses a wide range of tax returns and payments:
  • 2022 individual income tax returns and payments, initially due on April 18.
  • 2022 contributions to IRAs and health savings accounts.
  • Quarterly estimated tax payments are initially due on April 18, June 15, and September 15.
  • And many more, covering corporate, partnership, fiduciary income tax returns, and tax-exempt organizations.

How to benefit from this relief?

If your IRS-recorded address is in the disaster area, the extension is automatic. However, if you’ve moved to the affected region post-filing or your necessary records are in the disaster zone while you reside elsewhere, you might receive a late filing or payment penalty notice for the postponement period. In such unique cases, a simple call to the IRS can have the penalty abated.

Additional relief measures

The IRS also outlines further relief for uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses, which can be claimed on either the 2022 or 2023 tax returns. Qualified disaster relief payments for necessary personal, family, or housing expenses are generally excluded from gross income. Moreover, special provisions are available for affected taxpayers with retirement plans or individual retirement arrangements (IRAs).

Key takeaways

  • IRS extends tax deadlines for most Californians to November 16, 2023, due to severe natural disasters.
  • The extension is automatic for those residing in FEMA-designated disaster areas.
  • Additional relief provisions are available for uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses and retirement plan distributions.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to contact the IRS to receive the extension?

No, if your IRS address of record is located in the disaster area, the extension is automatic.

What if I receive a penalty notice for late filing or payment?

If you receive a penalty notice, contact the IRS at the number provided on the notice to have the penalty abated.

What additional relief is available?

Additional relief includes claims for uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses and certain provisions for retirement plan distributions.

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