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Tax Help for California Wildfire Victims

Victims of wildfires and high winds that took place beginning on July 23, 2018 and Nov. 8, 2018 in California may qualify for tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service.

Certain deadlines falling on or after July 23, 2018 and before Nov. 30, 2018, are granted additional time to file through Nov. 30, 2018. This includes taxpayers who had a valid extension to file their 2017 return by  Oct. 15, 2018. It also includes the quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Sept. 17, 2018, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on July 31, 2018 and Oct. 31, 2018. It also includes tax-exempt organizations that operate on a calendar-year basis and had an automatic extension due by Nov. 15, 2018.

In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after July 23, 2018, and before Aug. 7, 2018, will be abated as long as the deposits were made by Aug. 7, 2018.

Certain deadlines falling on or after Nov. 8, 2018 and before April 30, 2019, are granted additional time to file through April 30, 2019. This includes 2018 individual income tax returns and payments normally due on April 15, 2019. It also includes the quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Jan. 15, 2019 and April 15, 2019 and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Jan. 31, 2019. It also includes tax-exempt organizations that operate on a calendar-year basis and had an automatic extension due by Nov. 15, 2018.

In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after Nov. 8, 2018, and before Nov. 23, 2018, will be abated as long as the deposits were made by Nov. 23, 2018.

More information:

  • CA-2018-13, Tax relief for victims of November 8 wildfires in California
  • CA-2018-13SP, Alivio tributario disponible a víctimas de los incendios del 8 de noviembre en California
  • CA-2018-11, Tax relief for victims of wildfires and high winds in Northern California
  • CA-2018-11SP, Alivio Tributario disponible a víctimas de los vientos e incendios en el norte de California 

Other California Wildfires

The IRS extended deadlines for certain taxpayers that apply to filing returns, paying taxes, and performing certain other time-sensitive acts. The deadline was extended to April 30, 2018, for taxpayers affected by the California wildfires, flooding, mudflows and debris flows. This extension applies to deadlines - either an original or extended due date - that occur after December 3, 2017, and before April 30, 2018, for taxpayers affected by the California wildfires, flooding, mudflows and debris flows.

Personal casualty losses resulting from the California wildfires may be claimed as a qualified disaster loss.

California Wildfire Covered Disaster Area

A portion of the California wildfire disaster area was designated by the IRS as a covered disaster area on October 13, 2017, and supplemented on October 16. This California wildfire covered disaster area covers Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Solano, Sonoma and Yuba counties.

California Wildfires, Flooding, Mudflows and Debris Flows Covered Disaster Area

Another portion of the California wildfire disaster area was designated by the IRS as a covered disaster area on January 17, 2018. The California wildfires, flooding, mudflows and debris flows covered disaster area covers Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

California Wildfire Disaster Zone

The term California wildfire disaster zone means that portion of the California wildfire disaster area determined by the President to warrant individual or individual and public assistance from the federal government by reason of the California wildfires.

The following counties are in the California wildfire disaster zone:

  • Butte, Lake, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, Ventura and Yuba.

See Pub 976, Disaster Relief, which explains special tax law provisions for taxpayers affected by the California wildfires.

Taxpayers can also identify themselves to the IRS or ask wildfire-related questions by calling the special IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227.

News Releases

  • CA-2018-13, Tax relief for victims of November 8 wildfires in California
  • CA-2018-13SP, Alivio tributario disponible a víctimas de los incendios del 8 de noviembre en California
  • CA-2018-11, Tax relief for victims of wildfires and high winds in Northern California
  • CA-2018-11SP, Alivio Tributario disponible a víctimas de los vientos e incendios en el norte de California 
  • CA-2018-01, Tax Relief for Victims of Wildfires, Flooding, Mudflows and Debris Flows in California
  • IR-2017-172 , IRS Gives Tax Relief to Victims of California Wildfires; Extension Filers Have Until Jan. 31 to File
  • IR-2017-172SP, IRS otorga alivio tributario a víctimas de fuegos en California; contribuyentes con prórrogas tienen hasta el 31 de enero para presentar
  • CA-2017-06, Tax Relief for Victims of Wildfires in California
  • CA-2017-06SP, El IRS ofrece alivio tributario a víctimas de los incendios en California

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