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IRS Provides Tax Relief to California Storm Victims

by Amber Stevenson

The IRS has provided disaster tax relief to victims of California storms that began on January 8, 2023. According to the IRS, storm victims who live or have a business in the disaster area now have until May 15, 2023, to file various federal individual and business tax returns and to make tax payments. The full notice can be read at (IR 2023-03, 1/10/2023)

Disaster area. The disaster area includes the following counties: Alameda, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Kings, Lake, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Ventura, Yolo, and Yuba.

Postponed deadlines. The IRS has postponed various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred beginning on January 8, 2023. As a result, individuals and households who live or have a business in the disaster area will have until May 15, 2023, to file returns and pay taxes that were originally due during this period.

This tax relief includes business returns due on March 15 and business and individual returns due on April 18, 2023. In addition, farmers who forgo making an estimated tax payment in January and normally file their returns by March 1, now have until May 15, 2023, to file their 2022 return and pay any tax due.
The May 15, 2023, deadline also applies to:

  1. The quarterly estimated tax payments normally due on January 17, 2023, and April 18, 2023.
  2. The quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on January 31 and April 30, 2023.

In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after January 8, 2023, and before January 23, 2023, will be abated if the tax deposits are made by January 23, 2023.

Relief is automatic. The IRS will automatically apply this tax relief to any taxpayer with an address in the disaster area (“affected taxpayers”). However, affected taxpayers that receive a penalty notice from the IRS for a return that has a due date falling within the postponement period (January 8, 2023, to May 15, 2023) should call the phone number on the notice to have the penalty abated.

In addition, taxpayers who live or have a business outside the disaster area but whose tax records are in the disaster area and workers assisting in disaster relief activities should call the IRS at 866-562-5227 to ask for this tax relief.

Disaster losses. Victims in the disaster area who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on either the current year (2023) or prior year 2022 return. Taxpayers claiming disaster losses should write the FEMA declaration number—3691-EM—on any return claiming such a loss.

As of this posting, California has not conformed to this relief but we expect they will shortly.

Please keep in mind that this relief doesn’t apply to information returns such as Forms W-2, 1094, 1095, 1097, 1098 or 1099 series; to Forms 1042-S, 3921, 3922 or 8027. These forms still have their normal due dates.

Create Online Tax Accounts Now!

by Kassandra Cristobal

Have you created your online accounts with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Franchise Tax Board (FTB) yet? We encourage ALL of our clients to create or update their online accounts with the IRS and relevant state tax agencies. With online accounts, taxpayers gain access to important tax information including balances due, payments made, tax records, and more.

In many cases, you can locate or request relevant information via your online account which will minimize or eliminate the need to sit on hold with tax agencies. Plus, account creation takes just a few minutes! Individual taxpayers have the ability to create both Federal IRS and California FTB accounts, however businesses are only able to create California FTB accounts at this time.

The following and more can be done via your online accounts:

Both IRS and FTB:

  • View account balance, including taxes due from prior year returns
  • Make electronic payments and create payment plans
  • View tax payment history, including past estimated tax payments
  • View Notices and Letters of correspondence
  • View and authorize Power of Attorney (POA) for outside parties

IRS:

  • View tax records relating to advance payments of the Child Tax Credit and Economic Impact Payments (EIPs)

FTB:

  • View past copies of your California tax returns
  • Send a secure message to an FTB representative with questions regarding your account
  • Authorize Full Online Account Access for your tax professional representative(s)
  • View tax payment history, including the new Pass-Through Entity (PTE) Elective Tax payment

Federal IRS

Log-In Page: https://www.irs.gov/payments/your-online-account

The IRS has partnered with ID.me, an IRS-trusted technology provider, to provide identity verification for IRS applications. Individual taxpayers and tax professionals are required to verify with ID.me for a secure login.

Please note, existing IRS username and passwords no longer work as of Summer 2022. As such, we suggest creating an ID.me account and completing the identity verification process now.

How to sign-up:

Select “Sign in to your Online Account” and either create a new account or sign-in using a previous login.

If you have an existing ID.me account from a state government or federal agency, you can sign-in without verifying your identity again. If you’re a new user, you’ll have to create a new ID.me account.

To create your account, you will need:

  • A valid email address.
  • Your birthdate.
  • Your Social Security Number (SSN).
  • Your current mailing address.
  • Your mobile phone number (must be a smart phone with internet and texting capabilities)
  • Your ID (driver’s license, passport, or state ID)

Tips for creating your ID.me account:

  • Make sure you have access to a computer, your smartphone, and your email. You’ll be asked to go between all 3 in order to verify your identity.
  • You’ll need to use your smartphone to take a photo of your ID.
  • You’ll need to use your smartphone or your computer’s webcam to take a computer-generated selfie photo.

California FTB

Log-In Page: https://www.ftb.ca.gov/myftb/index.asp

Step-by-step Instructions: https://www.ftb.ca.gov/myftb/help/how-to-guides/individuals/register.pdf

How to sign-up:

You must have a recent California tax return on file in order to register for a MyFTB Individual account. If you filed a joint tax return, you must each register for a separate MyFTB Individual account.

To create your account, you will need:

  • A valid email address.
  • Your Social Security Number (SSN).
  • Your current mailing address.
    • Important! If you moved since you filed your last tax return, call the FTB to update your mailing address before you register for a MyFTB account, (800) 852-5711.
  • Information from a filed California tax return for one of the last five tax years.

After you create your account, you will receive a letter in the mail containing a Personal Identification Number (PIN). The PIN will be mailed via the United States Postal Service within 3 to 5 business days. Please allow 10 business days to receive the PIN. You have 21 days from the date you register to enter your PIN to activate your account.

This is a one-time use PIN is used to activate your MyFTB account. You will not need it again to login. You will need to enter this PIN online in order to activate and gain access to your account.

Please note: Individual taxpayers also have the option of activating their account via online “personal question” screening instead of the mailed PIN.

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Crawford Pimentel
Certified Public Accountants
1550 The Alameda #211
San Jose, CA 95126
Phone: (408) 942-6888
Fax: (408) 942-0194
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