Natural disasters can wreak havoc on individuals and businesses, both financially and emotionally. In response to the recent hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country, the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) just announced that it will provide that much-needed tax relief to affected taxpayers.
To qualify for this tax relief, individuals and businesses must have been directly impacted by Hurricanes Idalia and Lee, wildfires in Maui and Hawaii, or seawater intrusion in Louisiana. If you fall into this category and have a California filing requirement, you are eligible for the tax relief measures.
How to Access These Tax Relief Resources
Don’t worry, take your time to assess how much these natural disasters have impacted your assets or economy, and determine how much money have you, your family, or your company lost. The most significant aspect of this relief is the extension of the tax filing deadline.
Affected taxpayers now have until February 15, 2024, to file their 2022 income tax returns for California and make any income tax-related payments that would have been due between September 15, 2023, and January 16, 2024.
This extension means that many taxpayers will have several additional months to file their California tax returns or make their quarterly estimated tax payments to the state. Those who would have had an October 16, 2023, extended tax filing deadline now have until February 15, 2024, to file. However, it’s important to note that tax year 2022 return tax payments originally due on April 18, 2023, are not eligible for the extension.
Specific Postponement Periods for the Tax Relief Program
To take advantage of the extended deadline, affected taxpayers should follow specific procedures outlined by the FTB. These steps typically involve notifying the tax authorities of your eligibility and intent to utilize the extension.
The specific postponement periods for each mentioned state vary depending on when the disaster was declared. However, the February 15, 2024, extension includes the following:
- Quarterly estimated income tax payments normally due on September 15, 2023, and January 16, 2024.
- Calendar-year partnerships and S corporations whose 2022 extensions run out on September 15, 2023.
- Calendar-year corporations whose 2022 extensions run out on October 16, 2023.
Calendar-year tax-exempt organizations whose extensions run out on November 15, 2023.
California Middle-Class Residents Eligible for $600 Million in Inflation Relief Funds
California has disbursed $9.2 billion in inflation relief funds to qualified taxpayers, aiming to alleviate the financial strain caused by rising costs. However, a substantial portion of this relief, exceeding $600 million, remains unclaimed.
According to the latest report from the California Franchise Tax Board, they distributed 9.6 million debit cards, collectively valued at $5.2 billion, to middle-class households. Additionally, 7.2 million direct deposits amounting to another $4 billion were made in September.
Remarkably, approximately 87% of these debit cards have been activated, accounting for a substantial sum of $4.6 billion. Nevertheless, a significant sum of $600 million, represented by unactivated debit cards, still awaits recipients.
It is concerning to note that nearly half of the activated cards, precisely 45%, currently bear a zero balance, signifying that $2.1 billion has already been expended from these cards. Regrettably, the exact amount spent from all the activated cards remains uncertain, as the California Franchise Tax Board has not provided a response to inquiries as of Wednesday evening.