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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.

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