More California wildfire relief from IRS: Sept. 15, Oct. 15 deadlines, other dates further extended to Jan. 3 for certain areas

Issue Number:​ ​ ​ IR-2021-224

Inside This Issue


More California wildfire relief from IRS: Sept. 15, Oct. 15 deadlines, other dates further extended to Jan. 3 for certain areas

WASHINGTON — Wildfire victims in parts of California now have until Jan. 3, 2022, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service announced today. Under relief provided in August, these extensions were generally due to run out on Nov. 15.​

The IRS is providing this additional relief, based on the recent Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) decision to end the incident period for this disaster declaration on Oct. 25. By law, the IRS must provide disaster relief until at least 60 days after the end of the FEMA-designated incident period.

Accordingly, the IRS is now providing more time to any area of California designated by FEMA for either individual or public assistance. Currently, this includes Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Tehama and Trinity counties. Any jurisdiction added to the FEMA declaration will automatically receive the IRS relief. The current list of eligible localities is always available on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

This relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on July 14, 2021. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Jan. 3, 2022, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. This means individuals who had a valid extension to file their 2020 return that ran out on Oct. 15, 2021, will now have until Jan. 3, 2022, to file. The IRS noted, however, that because tax payments related to these 2020 returns were due on May 17, 2021, those payments are not eligible for this relief.

The Jan. 3, 2022 deadline also applies to quarterly estimated income tax payments due on Sept. 15, 2021, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Aug. 2 and Nov. 1, 2021. Businesses with an original or extended due date also have the additional time including, among others, calendar-year partnerships and S corporations whose 2020 extensions ran out on Sept. 15, 2021 and calendar-year corporations whose 2020 extensions ran out on Oct. 15, 2021. It also applies to calendar-year tax-exempt organizations whose 2020 extensions run out on Nov. 15, 2021.

In addition, penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after July 14, 2021 and before July 29, will be abated as long as the deposits were made by July 29, 2021.

The IRS disaster relief page has details on other returns, payments and tax-related actions qualifying for the additional time.

The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. Therefore, taxpayers do not need to contact the agency to get this relief. However, 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 falling within the postponement period, the taxpayer should call the number on the notice to have the penalty abated.

In addition, the IRS will work with any taxpayer who lives outside the disaster area but whose records necessary to meet a deadline occurring during the postponement period are located in the affected area. Taxpayers qualifying for relief who live outside the disaster area need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227. This also includes workers assisting the relief activities who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization.

Individuals and businesses in a federally declared disaster area who suffered uninsured or unreimbursed disaster-related losses can choose to claim them on either the return for the year the loss occurred (in this instance, the 2021 return normally filed next year), or the return for the prior year (2020). Be sure to write the FEMA declaration number – DR-4610 −on any return claiming a loss. See Publication 547 for details.

The tax relief is part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by these wildfires and is based on local damage assessments by FEMA. For information on disaster recovery, visit disasterassistance.gov.

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