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Tax relief available for victims of California fires


 Tax relief is available for victims of the California fires.

The devastation caused by the fires in California is both shocking and heart-wrenching. At least 5,700 buildings have been destroyed, tens of thousands of people remain under evacuation orders, and the fires are not fully contained. Rebuilding will take concerted time and effort, once it can begin.

To help ease the financial burden of victims, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) is offering tax relief to businesses and individuals affected by fires in the following counties:

  • Butte
  • Lake
  • Mendocino
  • Napa
  • Nevada
  • Orange
  • Solano
  • Sonoma
  • Yuba

Taxpayers unable to file or pay taxes or fees due to the Atlas, Canyon, Cascade, Cherokee, LaPorte, Lobo, Potter, Sulphur, and Tubbs fires may request relief from interest and penalties and/or a filing extension for numerous taxes and fees, including:

  • California tire fee
  • Cigarettes and tobacco products taxes and licensing
  • Fuel taxes
  • Integrated waste management fee
  • Sales and use tax
  • Timber yield tax

Additional information is available from the CDTFA.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is also providing assistance to individuals and businesses. Residents of most areas may register for disaster assistance, and Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) is available for those whose primary residence has been destroyed, is uninhabitable, or inaccessible due to a declared disaster. Visit the FEMA website for additional information.

In addition, the Internal Revenue Service is offering a filing extension for affected taxpayers. Taxpayers currently have until Jan. 31, 2018, to file returns and pay taxes for deadlines starting Oct. 8, 2017. Additional or extended relief may be available in the future, as the IRS is monitoring the situation closely. More details are available on the IRS website.

With several natural disasters under the collective belts of the nation, tax departments from Florida to the state of Washington are offering tax relief. Several are also offering advice as to how best protect important financial and tax documents from fires and floods. Learn more.

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.