January 30, 2018 9:54 pm

Tax Relief for Disaster Victims in California and Other States

The wildfires, flooding, mudflows, and debris flows that started on December 4, 2017, in California resulted in a disaster declaration from FEMA (https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4353). The IRS has provided some tax relief to these victims in the form of extended due dates for certain tax matters (CA-2018-01, 1/17/18). More specifically, returns and other tax-sensitive matters (e.g., payments of estimated taxes) that were due on or after December 4th will be treated as timely if completed by April 30, 2018. Also check for state-level relief (https://www.ftb.ca.gov/aboutFTB/press/2018/01-01182018.shtml).

Individuals with uninsured property losses may opt to deduct them on a prior-year return. For example, losses from a 2017 disaster may be claimed on an amended 2016 return. In addition to the FEMA declaration for certain areas of California, recently there have been declarations for severe storms and flooding in New Hampshire and Vermont. Find a complete listing of FEMA declarations at https://www.fema.gov/disasters.

Tax Glossary

Capital asset

Property subject to capital gain or loss treatment. Almost all assets you own are considered capital assets except for certain business assets or works you created.

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