The Internal Revenue Service and the California Franchise Tax Board announced some tax relief for wildfire victims in Sonoma, Napa, Solana, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Nevada, Yuba and Orange counties.
The deadline to file 2016 tax returns has been extended until January 31, 2018 without penalty. However, if you owe tax payments from your 2016 tax return you are not eligible for this relief. According to the IRS, these were tax payments that were originally due on April 18, 2017.
Taxpayers in these Counties also have until January 31, 2018 to make any estimated tax payments, which would normally be due on January 16, 2018.
Fire victims should also explore their eligibility for property tax relief. In many cases, damaged property can be reassessed in its current condition, which would result in taxes refunded to the property owner. Then after the property has been rebuilt to its pre-fire condition, the property’s pre-fire value will be restored. To qualify, a claim must be filed with your county tax assessor’s office within 12 months of the date of the fire damage and the estimated loss must be a minimum of $100,000.
Affected property owners can also apply to defer their next property payment, without any penalty or interest and until the county assessor can reassess the property and send a corrected bill based on the property’s damaged value.