Almost two weeks into the onslaught of rain and wind, more than a dozen California residents have lost their lives, and the damage now exceeds $1 billion. On Monday, leaders at the city, state and federal levels all declared states of emergency, with Mayor London Breed’s proclamation retroactive to Dec. 31.
However, while it might be small consolation to anyone whose house flooded or whose car got crushed under a fallen tree, the federal disaster declaration contains a provision that should make their lives a little bit easier.
According to an Internal Revenue Service release Tuesday, if you live in one of 41 hard-hit counties of California, you just got a one-month extension to file your 2022 federal income taxes, to May 15. All filing and payment deadlines from Jan. 8 through mid-May are covered.
“This includes 2022 individual income tax returns due on April 18, as well as various 2022 business returns normally due on March 15 and April 18,” the release stated. “Among other things, this means that eligible taxpayers will have until May 15 to make 2022 contributions to their IRAs and health savings accounts.”
That list of counties spans almost the entire state, from Mendocino south to San Diego. While an initial version of the release excluded San Francisco and much of the Bay Area, it has since been updated to encompass all nine counties in the region, as well as hard-hit Santa Cruz, Monterey, Sacramento and Yolo counties. Virtually all of the state’s metro areas are included, potentially meaning temporary tax relief for millions of filers.
On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state would follow the federal government's lead and grant California taxpayers a one-month reprieve as well.
The designation is automatic, so you don’t need to fill out an extra form. For the full list of counties and relief provisions, see the IRS website.