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If You Live in the Bay Area, You Now Have Until October to File Your Taxes

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Update, 5:10 p.m. Wednesday: April 18’s Tax Day is fast approaching for most of the country. But many people in the Bay Area remain unaware that the deadline to file and pay both federal and state taxes has been extended to Oct. 16 for all of the region’s nine counties, says Amy Spivey, visiting assistant professor and clinic director at UC College of the Law, San Francisco’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic.

Spivey says that not only are many people in the Bay Area unaware that the deadline has been extended as a form of tax relief for regions affected by recent winter storms, but also that those who do know are unaware it’s automatic and requires no application. Spivey also notes that at her tax assistance clinic, she’s hearing that people believe they have to be directly “affected” by the winter storms to benefit from the extension.

“For example, their records were not personally lost or delayed by the storms, so they believe they were not ‘affected’ by the storms,” she said. But just by living in or owning a business in one of the nine Bay Area counties, federal and state authorities will count you as being “affected” by the storms.

Read more about why some people might consider filing their taxes by April 18 regardless.

Original story. Californians still recovering from this year’s heavy storm season have one less worry: State and federal tax deadlines have been extended, again, this time to Oct. 16, 2023.

The extension comes just a few weeks after the Internal Revenue Service and California state tax authorities extended both federal and state tax deadlines from April 18 to May 15, following the severe storms from late December to early January.

“As communities across the state continue recovering from the damage caused by the winter storms, California is working swiftly to help recovering Californians get back on their feet,” Gov. Newsom said in a statement on March 2. “The state is aligning with the Biden Administration and extending the tax filing deadline in addition to the tax relief announced earlier this year.”

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Climate experts estimate that the flooding, landslides and mudslides from this year’s winter storms have caused nearly $1 billion in damage, according to a Los Angeles Times report. At least 22 people died due to storm-related accidents in January.

Most Californians filing individual and business tax returns and payments are eligible for the federal tax extension, which applies to any disaster area as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. All nine Bay Area counties are included, as well as Sonoma, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Mendocino, Monterey and Napa counties. A list of eligible localities can be found at the IRS website.

The federal extension also applies to individual tax returns, business returns, and returns for tax-exempt organizations, normally due on May 15. Taxpayers also now have until Oct. 16 to make contributions to health savings accounts and retirement accounts. Tuesday, April 18, 2023, remains the tax filing deadline for most Americans.

Californians living in disaster areas who suffered losses due to the storms can also claim those losses on their tax return this year, if the losses are unreimbursed or uninsured.

Taxpayers do not need to file any additional paperwork to qualify for the federal tax deadline extension.

The IRS is now accepting returns for the 2023 tax season.

This story has been updated to reflect the state of California’s latest tax deadline extension. An earlier version of this story was published on Feb. 27. KQED’s Carly Severn contributed to this story.

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