IRS Offers Relief to Calif. Fire Victims

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Victims of the Valley and Butte fires that took place beginning on September 12 in parts of California may qualify for tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service.

Following recent FEMA disaster declarations for individual assistance and President Obama declaring Lake and Calaveras Counties a federal disaster area, individuals who reside or have a business in these counties may qualify for tax relief.

The IRS can now postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after September 12 and on or before Jan. 15, 2016, have been postponed to the latter date. This includes the September 15 estimated tax deadline, the 2014 corporate and partnership returns on extension thru September 15 and the October 15 deadline for those who received an extension to file their 2014 return.

The IRS is also waiving the failure-to-deposit penalties for employment and excise tax deposits due on or after September 12, as long as the deposits were made by September 28.

If an affected taxpayer receives a penalty notice from the IRS, they can call the number on the notice to have the IRS abate any interest and late-filing or late-payment penalties. Penalties or interest will be abated only for taxpayers who have an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date, including an extended filing or payment due date, that falls within the postponement period.

The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies automatic filing and payment relief. 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.

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