Fires

This year's tax deadline is Tuesday. Why some Californians will get 2 extra weeks

Watch Thomas Fire flames continue to rage behind Montecito home

The flames burned behind this home off Ladera Lane near Bella Vista Drive in Montecito on Dec. 14.
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The flames burned behind this home off Ladera Lane near Bella Vista Drive in Montecito on Dec. 14.

Tax Day is delayed two days this year, from its traditional April 15 to April 17, due to Sunday closure and a Monday holiday. But some Californians impacted by recent wildfire and mudslide disasters will get a longer extension to file.

While most Americans have until Tuesday, the IRS in January moved the deadline to April 30 for taxpayers in four Southern California counties affected by numerous devastating December wildfires and January's deadly Montecito mudslides.

The qualifying counties are Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura. The latter two were in the path of the massive Thomas Fire, which burned more than 280,000 acres and destroyed more than 1,000 buildings between Dec. 4 and mid-January. Santa Barbara County was also the location of the Montecito mudslides, which killed at least 21 people and did more than $400 million in damage.

As explained by the Ventura County Star, tax relief may be available for all taxpayers in the county, but residents and business owners should still contact the IRS for questions on a case-by-case basis if they plan to file after Tuesday. The Thomas Fire did not affect all residents in Ventura County, but the entire county was declared a disaster area by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Heavy rains triggered freeway closures throughout Southern California and unleashed mudflows in areas ravaged by wildfires. At least five people died as rescue personnel scrambled through clogged roadways and downed trees and houses.

The 13-day extension does not apply to those affected in Northern California's wine country fires last October.

Some taxpayers in those areas, however, did receive extensions for other items, such as estimated income tax payments. Some deadlines falling between Oct. 8 and Jan. 31 were pushed to the latter date, the IRS announced Oct. 13. This applied to Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Sonoma, Yuba and Solano counties as well as Orange County in Southern California.

You can get an extension to file your tax return but make your tax payment by the April due date. Here are instructions on how to get more time to file.

Nationwide, Tax Day 2018 falls back two days because April 15 is a Sunday and Monday is Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in D.C. When D.C. holidays are celebrated on or fall on Tax Day, it's pushed back a day across the entire U.S.

Tax Day also came after April 15 in 2016 and 2017. We'll be back to the normal deadline from 2019 through 2022.

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