Following a series of devastating storms that affected much of the state, California will receive some federal tax relief in the coming months.

The Internal Revenue Service announced last week that Californians in areas affected by the storms will have until May 15, instead of the standard April 18 deadline, to file their taxes. The move came in the wake of a series of atmospheric river events that resulted in flooding, sinkholes, damage and deaths across California.

The storms had plagued the state for much of the last week and were expected to continue. Widespread damage and power outages warranted the potential postponement, especially with the earliest tax deadlines coming later this month.

Anyone living in or who owns a business in a county designated by FEMA and the IRS as having been affected by the storms will be eligible for the extended deadlines.

Californians in Numerous Counties Are Eligible for a Later Tax Deadline

Residents in 31 of California’s 58 counties are eligible for the extended tax deadlines. Californians who either live in or own a business in any of the affected counties will benefit from the tax relief.

Deadlines outside of the standard April 18 date are postponed to May 15. Business returns due on March 15 are delayed, as well as the quarterly estimated tax payment deadline of Jan. 18.

Quarterly payroll and excise tax returns typically due between Jan. 31 and April 30 are also delayed.

Taxpayers who live in the affected areas and counties do not need to reach out to the IRS or fill out any paperwork to qualify for the extended tax deadlines. Everyone is automatically qualified and should be able to file late without issues.

It is standard for the IRS to offer tax relief to areas that have been affected by weather disasters, with some Californians already being eligible for extended deadlines due to previous severe winter storms and mudslides.

Storms Have Brought Flooding and Damage to Much of California

The tax relief and extended deadlines come in the wake of a series of devastating storms that caused damage in California. Flooding, sinkholes and property damage have been widespread.

According to CNN, 18 people have died from the storms in recent weeks, with the state receiving rainfall levels that are 400% to 600% above average.

More rain was expected to hit throughout the end of last week as well.

Property damage across the state has also been severe, with USA Today reporting that the total damage toll from the storms could soon eclipse $1 billion. Around 250,000 homes and businesses were without power last week.

Historically, the IRS will loosen rules and deadlines in areas reeling from natural disasters or experiencing weather events serious enough for FEMA to get involved.

Just this past fall, the IRS offered similar relief to victims of severe winter storms in New York and those affected by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole in the Southeastern United States.

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: February 7, 2023