Navigating the Storm: Tax Filing Extensions for San Diego County

By:  Tony Mauriello, Esq.

In the wake of severe storms that swept through San Diego County the first two months of 2024, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced an automatic filing relief for individual and business taxpayers impacted by the natural disaster. As detailed in IRS announcement IR-2024-51 on February 27, 2024, this relief extends the filing deadline to June 17, 2024, providing much-needed breathing room for those affected. This measure aligns San Diego County with other regions in the United States that have received similar extensions due to adverse weather events, ensuring a uniform approach to disaster relief across the country.

Understanding the nuances of this extension, the deadlines affected, and how to navigate the additional time effectively is crucial for taxpayers within San Diego County.

Understanding the Filing Extension

The IRS’s decision to grant a filing extension to San Diego County taxpayers is a response to the storms that have caused widespread damage and disruption to citizens of the county. This extension is not just a deferment of responsibility but a necessary adjustment to accommodate the extraordinary circumstances faced by the community.

Affected Deadlines:

The extension applies to a wide range of tax-related deadlines, including:

  • Individual Income Tax Returns: Originally due on April 15, 2024, now extended to June 17, 2024.
  • IRA and Health Savings Account Contributions: For the year 2023, the deadline has been extended to June 17, 2024.
  • 2024 Estimated Tax Payments: The first installment, typically due on April 15, 2024, also benefits from the extension.
  • Quarterly Payroll and Excise Tax Returns: Deadlines for returns normally due on January 31 and April 30, 2024, are now extended.
  • Business Tax Returns: This includes calendar-year partnership and S corporation returns due on March 15, and calendar-year corporation, fiduciary returns, and tax-exempt organization returns, all enjoying the new June 17 deadline.

The IRS’s comprehensive approach to the filing extension ensures that affected taxpayers have one less concern as they recover from the storm’s impact. It’s important for taxpayers to note that this relief automatically applies, requiring no additional action from them to benefit from the extended deadlines.

Eligibility and Deadlines

Eligibility for this relief is straightforward: it applies to any individual or business located in San Diego County. Additionally, those residing outside the county but whose tax records, necessary for meeting the original deadlines, are located within the affected area, are also covered by this extension.

For many, this extension offers a critical opportunity to reassess their financial situation, gather necessary documentation, and ensure that their tax filings are accurate and complete without the added pressure of the original deadlines. However, it’s essential for taxpayers to plan ahead to avoid a rush as the new June 17 deadline approaches.

It’s also noteworthy that taxpayers who anticipate needing additional time beyond June 17, 2024, have the option to request a further extension. However, this request must be filed by June 17, emphasizing the importance of early preparation and consultation with tax professionals if uncertainties about meeting this extended deadline exist.

State-Level Conformity

The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) has confirmed its decision to conform to the IRS’s storm-related disaster postponement.

California’s Response:

  • The FTB’s announcement ensures that state tax obligations for San Diego County residents align with the extended federal deadlines, simplifying the tax filing process for individuals and businesses.
  • The conformity includes passthrough entity elective tax payments due on March 15, 2024, among other tax-related deadlines.

This state-level conformity means a more streamlined approach to managing their tax obligations in the aftermath of the storms. It eliminates the confusion and administrative burden that could arise from navigating differing federal and state tax deadlines.

Practical Implications for Taxpayers

With the extended deadlines, taxpayers have additional time to prepare their tax returns and make necessary payments. However, to make the most of this extension, proactive planning is essential.

Navigating the Extension:

  • Organization: Begin by organizing all tax-related documents and information. Gather receipts, financial statements, and any documentation related to losses incurred due to the storms.
  • Consultation: Consider consulting with a tax professional. The complexities of tax filings can be daunting, especially in the wake of a disaster. Professional advice can ensure that you maximize any available deductions or credits related to disaster losses.
  • Planning: Save for the payment of any owed taxes. While the filing deadline has been extended, managing cash flow to accommodate tax payments is crucial.
  • Stay Informed: Keep abreast of any further announcements from both the IRS and FTB. The situation can evolve, and additional relief measures may be introduced.

Conclusion: Seizing the Opportunity

The IRS and FTB’s decision to extend tax filing and payment deadlines for San Diego County residents in the wake of severe storms is a significant form of relief for those affected. This extension not only provides the necessary time to recover from the immediate impacts of the disaster but also offers a buffer to ensure that taxpayers can fulfill their tax obligations without additional stress.

Taxpayers should view this extension as an opportunity to take a measured and informed approach to their tax filings. By staying organized, seeking professional advice, and planning ahead, they can navigate this period effectively.

The collaboration between federal and state tax authorities in providing relief underscores the collective effort to support communities during times of need. Taxpayers in San Diego County and beyond are encouraged to leverage this support, ensuring that they emerge from this period stronger and well-prepared for the future.

The full announcement is available at:

Tony Mauriello is a corporate attorney in San Diego specializing in mergers and acquisitions and tech transactions who works closely with both public and privately-held companies.

This blog is written as of March 2024.  Recommendations and legal requirements are changing rapidly, so please continue to review our legal updates or review postings on relevant government websites.

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