November Newsletter

Security Summit Partners Mark Progress in Identity Theft Battle

On October 17, 2017 the IRS, state tax agencies and private-sector industry leaders detailed their continued progress against tax-related identity theft and prepared additional safeguards for the 2018 filing season to curb refund fraud.

The latest IRS data continued to show significant improvements as fewer identity theft returns entered the tax system, fewer fraudulent refunds were issued and fewer taxpayers were reporting themselves as victims of identity theft.

CA Wildfires Disaster Loss Update

The IRS has updated the list of California counties designated as Presidential declared disaster areas.  Those counties are as follows:

Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sonoma & Yuba

A full Presidential declaration causes the federal disaster tax loss treatment to kick in, along with the filing deadline extensions.  The filing deadline extensions apply to all federal tax returns and tax payments that were due on October 16, 2017; these returns and payments will be extended to January 31, 2018.  Late paying penalties and late filing penalties will not apply to those returns coming from taxpayers who either reside or have a business in the above-listed counties.  The Presidential declaration gives a taxpayer all the major tax breaks, including the ability to deduct a 2017 fire loss on an amended 2016 return along with a lot of other benefits.

For either federal or state tax purposes, a casualty loss becomes a disaster loss when both of the following occur:

  • You sustain the loss in an area the President of the United States or the Governor of California declares a state of emergency.
  • You sustain the loss because of the declared disaster.

Solano County (Atlas fire) is a Governor declared disaster, but not yet a Presidential declared disaster.

Property Tax Relief for Those Impacted by Wildfires

Contact your county property tax assessor’s office to learn about filing a claim for deferral of the next property tax installment or for how to handle a claim for the loss of your property, if applicable.