Personal Finance

IRS: Wildfire victims may qualify for tax relief, extended filing deadlines

Individuals and businesses adversely affected by the ongoing Northern California wildfires may qualify for tax relief, the Internal Revenue Service said Friday.

Following the recent disaster declaration issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS said individuals who reside or have a business in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Sonoma, and Yuba counties may be eligible.

The federal declaration permits the IRS to postpone some deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. Relief includes additional time to file. That includes taxpayers who had a valid extension to file their 2016 tax returns due to run out on Monday.

It also includes the quarterly estimated income tax payments originally due on Jan. 16, 2018, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Oct. 31. Also eligible are tax-exempt organizations that operate on a calendar-year basis and had an automatic extension due to run out on Nov. 15.

The IRS notice added: “If an affected taxpayer receives 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, the taxpayer should call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS abate the penalty.”

The IRS said it automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies automatic filing and payment relief. But affected taxpayers who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area must call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 to request tax relief.

Taxpayers may download forms and information from the IRS website, irs.gov, or order them by calling 800-829-3676. The IRS toll-free number for general tax questions is 800-829-1040.

Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover

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