IRS Grants Tax Relief for Victims of California Wildfires

Learn more about the IRS tax relief grant for victims of the Camp Fire in California with information on who qualifies.

Updated on December 5th, 2018

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The Internal Revenue Service has granted a tax relief period to victims of the Camp Fire that occurred in northern California in November 2018. Citizens who reside or have a business in Butte, Los Angeles, and Ventura counties now have until April 30, 2019 to file their tax returns.

This includes individual income tax returns and payments normally due on April 15, 2019; quarterly estimated income tax payments due on January 15, 2019, and April 15, 2019; and quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on January 31, 2019.

A major disaster area was declared in the State of California where the November 8 wildfire destroyed more than 14,000 homes and businesses and displaced thousands of civilians. The declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who have been affected by the disaster.

According to the IRS, affected taxpayers that have either an original or extended due date falling on or after November 8, 2018, and before April 30, 2019, are granted additional time to file until April 30, 2019.

This relief also includes the filing of Form 5500 series returns that were required to be filed on or after November 8, 2018, and before April 30, 2019.

Who Qualifies for Tax Relief?

  • Individuals who live and/or have businesses in the covered disaster area (including tax-exempt organizations).
  • All relief workers affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization assisting in relief activities in the covered disaster area.
  • Any individual visiting the covered disaster area who was injured or killed as a result of the disaster.
  • Taxpayers not in the covered disaster area, but whose records necessary to meet a deadline listed in Treas. Reg. 301.7508A-1(c) are in the covered disaster area, are also entitled to relief.

Tax Returns Eligible for Relief:

  • Individual.
  • Corporate.
  • Estate and Trust Income.
  • Partnership.
  • S Corporation.
  • Trust Returns.
  • Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Returns.
  • Employment & Certain Excise Tax Returns.

What to do if you receive a late tax filing notice:

If you are an affected taxpayer and receive 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, you can 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. Affected taxpayers who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area must call the IRS disaster hotline at 1 (866) 562-5227 to request the tax relief.

Further Reading:

You can read the IRS' original statement on this issue here.