Tax season: extended deadlines for Californians impacted by storms
Tax season has arrived — the IRS began accepting and processing 2022 tax returns on Jan. 23. Taxpayers will get an additional three days to file this year; the typical April 15 deadline falls on a holiday weekend, so the deadline was pushed back to April 18.
California residents impacted by the wicked winter weather will have an even longer extension. Individuals and businesses that fall under counties designated by FEMA, including Sacramento, Placer and San Joaquin counties, will qualify for the postponed tax deadline of May 15.
However, there are some exceptions for people who live outside of the impacted areas – if the storms have affected their ability to file. Raphael Tulino, a spokesperson for the IRA, gave the following example:
"If you're a taxpayer and let's say you live somewhere outside of Sacramento and your CPA is down in Santa Cruz and that CPA had a really tough time with all that flooding and they're unable to prepare returns, then in theory you'd be able to."
If your return is past the initial April 18 due date, Tulino says you can mark that you have that extra time due to the disastrous rain, wind and flooding.
When it comes to actually filing, TurboTax CPA and Tax Expert Lisa Greene-Lewis says to take it one step at a time. She advises those filing to stay organized and begin gathering necessary documents in advance.
"I know when mine come in I have a folder and keep them all in one place," Greene-Lewis said. "One thing to keep in mind is the refund. Last tax season, about 75% of taxpayers received a refund close to $3,000 — that's a lot of money."
She additionally advises to be thorough with filing; filing a complete and accurate tax return can help you avoid refund delays and having to file an amended tax return.
The IRS is encouraging everyone to file electronically and request refunds in a direct deposit. As long as there are no errors or issues with the submission, you are expected to receive your return within 21 days.
The IRS has hired more than 5,000 new telephone assisters and added more in-person staff to streamline the process this tax season. If you have any questions about your return, the additional staffing means you are likely to have a better chance this year than in previous years to receive help on the other end of the line.
However, Tulino still advises you to check the IRS website first if you have any troubles; many of the common questions have been answered there and can save you time before making a call.
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