Victims of the California wildfires that began Aug. 14 now have until Dec. 15, 2020 to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.
The IRS is offering this relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance. Currently this includes Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties in California, but taxpayers in localities added later to the disaster area will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief.
The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Aug.14, 2020. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Dec. 15, 2020, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. This means individuals who had a valid extension to file their 2019 return due to run out on Oct. 15, 2020, will now have until Dec. 15, 2020, to file. The IRS noted, however, that because tax payments related to these 2019 returns were due on July 15, 2020, those payments are not eligible for this relief.
The Dec. 15, 2020 deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Sept. 15, 2020, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Oct. 31, 2020. It also applies to tax-exempt organizations, operating on a calendar-year basis, that had a valid extension due to run out on Nov. 15, 2020. Businesses with extensions also have the additional time including, among others, calendar-year corporations whose 2019 extensions run out on Oct. 15, 2020.
In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due after Aug. 14 and before Aug. 31, will be abated as long as the deposits are made by Aug. 31, 2020.