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The state’s Franchise Tax Board announced Thursday new tax-filing relief for people affected by wildfires that broke out in Los Angeles County and other counties throughout the state in September.

Taxpayers in areas that were declared disaster areas by Gov. Gavin Newsom are granted an extension until Jan. 15 to file California tax returns on 2019 income and make any tax payments that would have been due between Sept. 4 and Jan. 15.

“With more time to file and make certain payments, we hope to provide some relief to families and workers affected by these devastating wildfires,” State Controller and FTB chair Betty T. Yee said in a statement.

The relief applies to various upcoming tax-filing deadlines including:

— individual filers whose previous tax-filing extension was set to end Oct. 15. Any tax payments associated with the filings are not eligible for relief since they were initially due July 15;

— business entities with a due date between September and Dec. 15;

— quarterly tax payments due Sept. 15.

Wildfire victims may also claim a deduction on their 2019 income tax returns or next year’s returns for a disaster loss sustained in an area proclaimed by the governor to be in a state of emergency, according to the Franchise Tax Board, which noted that those who have already filed tax returns this year can file an amended return.

Taxpayers should write the name of the fire in blue or black ink at the top of their tax returns to alert the Franchise Tax Board. Those who are filing electronically are urged to follow the software instructions to enter disaster information.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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