California Tax Deadline Extension: What You Need to Know

Some Californians have more time to file federal and state tax returns because of flooding, mudslides, and other natural disasters.

California state flag
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Due to severe weather events like flooding, mudslides, and landslides, many people in California have tax deadline extensions, which means that those taxpayers have more time from the IRS to file. And in some counties, the 2023 California state tax deadline is also extended. 

But for people not in declared disaster areas, Tax Day — the deadline for filing federal tax returns —  was April 18, 2023.

IRS Extends 2023 Tax Deadline to Oct. 16 for Many in California

The IRS twice extended the tax deadline for taxpayers in California impacted by natural disasters last year. The first extension was to May 31, and the most recent IRS tax deadline extension is to Oct. 16, 2023. That means that some Californians have about six more months to file their federal tax returns.

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When the IRS tax deadline is extended, other deadlines tied to Tax Day are extended as well. So, for California, people in storm-impacted areas of the state also have more time to contribute to their IRAs and health savings accounts (HSAs). The deadline for making those contributions effectively moves to Oct. 16, 2023. Keep in mind that usual IRA contribution limits and HSA contribution limits still apply, so double-check to see if you have room to contribute before you file your taxes.

The IRS tax deadline extension for people in California also applies to fourth-quarter 2022 estimated payments of federal income tax. 

  • So, if you had an estimated tax payment due on Jan. 17, 2023, for example, the IRS says that you could essentially skip that payment and instead include it with your tax return when you file on or before Oct. 16.  
  • Farmers in affected areas of California also have until Oct. 16, 2023, to make estimated payments and pay any tax due, if you normally file your federal tax return by March 1.  
  • If you have estimated tax payments due this year (2023), the IRS extended tax deadline applies to payments that would normally be due on April 18 (Tax Day for most people), June 15, and Sept. 15, 2023.  

Which California Counties Have a Tax Extension?

People who reside in or have businesses in counties in California designated by the IRS as storm-impacted are eligible for tax deadline relief. You can find that information, which is sometimes updated to include additional counties, on the IRS website.

But some of the many affected counties so far include Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, and Humboldt. Also included: Inyo, Kings, Lake, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, and Santa Barbara. Additionally, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo, and Yuba counties are considered eligible for tax deadline relief. 

California Tax Deadline 2023 Extended

Gov. Gavin Newsom also announced California state tax deadline extensions for impacted areas of the state. The California tax deadline is usually April 18, and money owed on a California state return is normally due at the same time. (California also normally grants an automatic extension to file a state tax return until Oct. 16, 2023.) 

But since California announced an extension for filing state taxes and paying taxes owed, if any, for Californians in affected storm areas, that due date now matches the IRS tax deadline extension (i.e., Oct. 16, 2023).

“The state is aligning with the Biden administration and extending the tax filing deadline in addition to the tax relief announced earlier this year,” Newsom said in a release about the tax extension

Claiming Disaster Losses in California

California’s Franchise Tax Board (FTB) provides information for residents in storm-impacted areas who need to claim disaster losses. Taxpayers should include the name of the disaster in blue or black at the top of their state tax return, according to the FTB. Those who file electronically will answer a question when prompted by tax software and enter the disaster information accordingly. The FTB says that affected taxpayers can claim the losses on original and amended returns for the 2022 tax year.

To claim disaster losses on your federal tax return, generally, the losses must be related to your home, household items, and vehicles and be caused by a federally declared disaster, according to the IRS. However, you cannot deduct disaster losses that are covered by insurance unless you file for reimbursement on time and reduce your claimed losses by the amount you were reimbursed. 

If you have disaster losses and aren’t sure how to claim them on your tax return, consult a qualified tax professional.

Kelley R. Taylor
Senior Tax Editor,

With more than 20 years of experience as a corporate attorney and business journalist, Kelley R. Taylor has contributed to numerous national print and digital magazines on key issues spanning education, law, health, finance, and tax. Over the years, Kelley has extensively covered major tax developments and changes including the TCJA, pandemic-era changes in ARPA, the SECURE 2.0 Act, and the numerous clean energy tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act. Kelley particularly enjoys translating complex information in ways that help empower people in their daily lives and work.